Ireland is top of the world again – but only when it comes to unhappiness.

The country’s image as a happy-go-luck home to fun lovers has been shattered by a new international poll.

The annual WIN-Gallup survey, run every New Year since 1977, reflects the sombre mood of the recession hit nation.

As the Irish Independent reports, Ireland is running low on happiness and hope at the moment with the country bottom of Western Europe’s happiness index.

The poll found that a quarter of all Irish respondents are ‘very unhappy’ although 45 percent said they were happy.The survey, conducted amongst more than 52,000 people in 58 countries, found that the remaining 30 percent of Irish people said they were neither happy nor unhappy.


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The overall figures give Ireland a ‘net happiness’ score of just 20 percent, half the global net-happiness score of 40 per cent and well below the overall score for Western Europe of 56 percent.

Only four countries in Eastern Europe - Romania, Serbia, Lithuania and Georgia – scored less than Ireland.

In the Irish results, those aged 35-54 were more unhappy than other age groups and women were less happy than men.

The highest net happiness level was found in Holland at 77 percent. The survey says that 68 percent of Spanish people are happy with high levels of happiness also recorded in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Switzerland.

Iceland’s figures were also high despite the collapse of their economy in 2007 with 73 percent feeling happy and only seven percent unhappy.