THE BLOG

Europeans Happier than Americans yet Half the Footprint

07/02/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Europeans are a happy bunch.

According to the World Happiness Map, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, and Iceland are the top four happiest countries in the world. Eleven of the top 20 countries most pleased with smiley face photothemselves in the world are in Europe.

The US. is at #23.

But why are Europeans so darn happy? Where is this giddiness coming from? The answer is not necessarily greater wealth, the survey shows. Bhutan, one of the least developed countries in the world, clocks in at #8.

The U.S. has Double the Ecological Footprint of Europe.
According to the Global Footprint Calculator, North American's ecological footprint is nearly twice as big as Europe's. Whew. That means we use almost double the amount of land and water area to produce the resources we consume and to meet the demands of our waste.

Yet you probably don't hear people sympathizing with 'those poor Europeans and their lack of quality of life.' It seems that they can live with smaller homes, less space, fewer and smaller cars, and less waste, yet still face the world grinning.

Danes-football-fansLeft: Two happy Danes.

Half the footprint yet more smiles...What gives? Comment below.

Photos from top: MentalJokes.com; BBC News.