UK slides 4 places in World Happiness Report

This year's World Happiness Report has ranked the UK 22nd in 2012 out of 156 nations studied, a fall from 18th place in 2011.

Published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the study presents the widest body of data available on happiness and its causes.

Denmark took first place, as with last year, followed by Norway and then Switzerland. For two years in a row Togo has been ranked the unhappiest country.

The report's best attempts to aggregate a large body of information, despite readily stressing the difficulties of such a subjective study, still fails to establish happiness as a subject that holds water.

Having said that, the researchers are keen to utilise findings to influence policy decisions, highlighting, for example, the happiness deficit found in individuals who do not live in private homes - those in institutions, prisons, hospitals, residential care facilities and the homeless.

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