Two Australian cities, Sydney and Melbourne make it into the top five. Sydney is rated second, while Melbourne is fifth. The Australians must be doing something right it seems. In third and fourth are Barcelona, Spain and Amsterdam, Netherlands respectively. Barcelona presumably for its coupling of European sophistication, Mediterranean sun and proud Catalan heritage. Amsterdam because in this city you and I can smoke joints whenever and wherever we wish to, lol. Only one US city makes it into the Top 10 and there are no African or Asian cities in the list at all. At 6th position is Madrid, Spain, 7th is San Francisco, USA, 8th is Rome, Italy, 9th is Paris, France and 10th is Buenos Aires, Argentina. See world's happiest cities in pictures.
What this seems to be suggesting is that those who live in cities in Africa, Asia, much of Northern and all of Eastern Europe and everywhere in North America aside from San Francisco, are less happy than those in the cities listed. Well, maybe there is some truth in this because living in London, I do not see many smiling faces. In Africa however, people tend to be happier and friendlier than this list might suggest and it may be that policy advisor Simon Anholt and market researcher GfK Custom Research North America who conducted this research by compiling online interviews with 10,000 respondents in 20 countries, (the names of which countries do not seem to have been disclosed), have placed undue reliance on preconceptions about the lifestyles of people in the Mediterranean and South America. The respondents too appear to have been swayed by their own idea of where they thought of as being the place where they would be most happy. Australia is the real surprise in these results, since history tells us that until relatively recently historically speaking, this was a penile colony to which hardened criminals from Europe were exiled.
"Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how dearly we pay for its counterfeit." (Hosea Ballou 1771-1852)