DOHA: Qatar ranked fourth happiest country in the Gulf, according to the First World Happiness Report recently published by the United Nations.
The report placed Qatar on 31st among the 156 countries included in the list. The UAE ranked 17th while Saudi Arabia and Kuwait placed 26th and 29th respectively.
The countries on top of the list globally were Scandinavian countries Denmark, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands and Canada, respectively.
Countries which proved to be least happy were Togo, Benin, Central African Republic and Sierra Leone.
In the Middle East the least happy were Yemen and Palestine, according to the report.
The factors considered in rating the countries included overall wealth and mood, social relations and healthcare.
Commissioned for the United Nations Conference on Happiness mandated by the UN General Assembly, the report which was published by the Earth Institute reflects a new worldwide demand for more attention to happiness and absence of misery as criteria for government policy.
It reviews the state of happiness in the world today and shows how the new science of happiness explains personal and national variations in happiness.
Among the findings of the report were happier countries tend to be richer countries, unemployment causes as much unhappiness as bereavement or separation, behaving well makes people happier and mental health is the biggest single factor affecting happiness in any country.
The report also found stable family life and enduring marriages important for the happiness of parents and children, in advanced countries women are happier than men, while the position in poorer countries is mixed and happiness is lowest in middle age.