Jamaica dipped towards the midpoint of the latest World Happiness Report ranking, representing one of the largest decline globally.
Generally the world became a happier place when compared to last year, but Jamaica fell 35 places to 75th among 156 nations according to the UN-commissioned 2013 report, released this week.
Natural resources and social support contributed greatest to happiness in Jamaica with the perceptions of corruption, lack of generosity and a lacklustre economy contributing the least, indicated the report.
Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, Finland and Australia scored the highest on the index with Togo again scoring the lowest.
The report was edited by noted economists John Helliwell, Richard Layard and Jeffrey Sachs.
Happiness as an "emotion" and happiness in the "sense of life satisfaction" were operationalised in global surveys for the report.
Looking over a longer period (the five years to 2012), using surveys previous to the inaugural publication of this UN report, Jamaica's decline in happiness was only better than in Myanmar, Greece and Egypt.
"Despite the obvious happiness impacts of the financial crisis of 2007-08, the world has become a slightly happier and more generous place over the past five years," the report offered.
The editors took an interdisciplinary approach to the issue of happiness focusing on economic, social, psychological, and ethical. The researchers "learned" that mental health strongly influences happiness.
"It shows that mental health is the single most important determinant of individual happiness (in every case where this has been studied)," it stated, adding that roughly 10 per cent of the global populous suffers from clinical depression or crippling anxiety disorders.
The happiest countries in the Americas include Costa Rica at 12th, Panama at 15th, Mexico at 16th, USA, 17th, Venezula, 20th, Brazil, 24th, Chile, 28, and Trinidad & Tobago at 31.
The publication was from the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network which engages scientists, engineers, business and civil society leaders, and development practitioners for evidence based problem solving.
Last year, one editor told this reporter that the ranking was an average of several thousand survey responses globally, including from Jamaica. Respondents were asked to grade the quality of their lives on an 11-point or scale running from zero to 10, with zero meaning they were least happy.