North Korea has taken it upon itself to assemble and release a global survey on happiness. Despite its extreme isolation and extreme government control, the East Asian nation believes itself capable of assessing how content citizens in other nations are. According to TIME's NewsFeed:
...North Korea's Chosun Central Television recently came out with a happiness index compiled by local researchers. Their findings? China is the happiest place on the planet, earning 100 points (a perfect score!). At number two is none other than North Korea itself. Cuba, Iran and Venezuela (in that order) round out the top five.
The United States places dead last, coming in 203rd. South Korea is nearly just as depressed a nation; it ranks 152nd on the list. Some spots, North Korea's research indicates, are just nowhere near as smiley as the Axis of Evil.
It's no surprise that North Korea has rated itself and its allies among the happiest nations on earth. The Daily Intel calls the survey "made up like all of their news" and the Shanghiist writes that, "Nothing says happy like government-issued proclamations of happiness."
The results of this less-than-earth-shattering study come following a week of intense criticism from South Korean and American officials:
North Koreans are alienated from the rest of the developed world and, until recently, had barely any access to technology. It's easy to be content when the government cuts you off from learning what true prosperity looks like, right?