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The United States is the twelfth happiest nation in the world

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You may be unemployed and grossly overweight, but boy, are you happy. That's right, I'm talking to you, America. Based on a well-being survey taken by Gallup, out of 150 countries ranked in order of happiness, the United States placed a staggering twelfth. But it's going to take a lot more can-do optimism to unseat Denmark, the happiest land of them all.

Gallup based their rankings on the percentage of people who can be described as "thriving," using the "Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale." In other words, Denmark scored the highest because a whopping seventy-two percent of the people polled "rate their current lives a seven or higher (out of a scale of ten) and their lives in five years an eight or higher." In the U.S. that number is only fifty-nine. Granted, we're not ravaged by war or run by a nefarious dictator, but that number still seems awfully high, considering not only the crap-tastic economy, but the staggering (and ever-growing) gap between the wealthy and impoverished. Plus, Mad Men won't even be back on the air until 2012 (yes, some people's well-being revolves heavily around cable TV schedules). But at the very least, you can't say we lack confidence.

Below are the fifteen happiest countries:

1. Denmark – 72 percent
2. Sweden – 69 percent
2. Canada – 69 percent
4. Australia – 65 percent
5. Finland – 64 percent
5. Venezuela – 64 percent
7. Israel – 63 percent
7. New Zealand – 63 percent
9. Netherlands – 62 percent
9. Ireland – 62 percent
11. Panama – 61 percent
12. United States – 59 percent
13. Austria – 58 percent
13. Costa Rica – 58 percent
15. Brazil – 57 percent

And here are the bottom ten:

1. Chad – 1 percent
2. Central African Republic – 2 percent
2. Haiti – 2 percent
4. Burkina Faso – 3 percent
4. Cambodia – 3 percent
4. Niger – 3 percent
4. Tajikistan – 3 percent
8. Tanzania – 4 percent
8. Mali – 4 percent
8. Comoros – 4 percent

Better luck next year, Chad.