By Joe Mathieu, WBZ NewsRadio 1030

BOSTON) CBS – We live in the wealthiest country in the history of mankind.

We have everything. Big cars, big TVs, big houses and big plates of food.

I like to think we have big hearts too. Yet we are far from the happiest country in the world according to a new report by the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

We didn’t even make the top ten.

In fact researchers found we were the 17th happiest nation on earth even falling behind Canada and Mexico. And we all know how great life is south of the border these days.

If this study is correct we should all move to Northern Europe. No. 1 on this list is Denmark, followed by Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden.

So what’s wrong with America? I hate to be predictable but it all comes down to the economy.

I know, I just described how wealthy we are in this country. But our definition of wealth is relative to what we know about ourselves. And we just endured one of the worst economic recessions in our history. While we’re better off than just about every country in the world, we are still trying to get back to where we were before the downturn.

Too many people are still out of work.

One of the factors behind our ranking was the perceived decline in “freedom to make life choices. “ And researchers say that’s likely because of unemployment. No job can often mean no choices.

But the U.S. economy has improved, albeit modestly, since this survey was taken. Let’s hope our happiness reflects that.

Follow Joe on Twitter @joemathieuwbz


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