On International Day of Happiness, Finland has bagged the number one position for the second time in a row. India stands at 140 in a list of 156 countries
Finland tops the list of countries to be the world's happiest country for the second year in a row, according to the latest World Happiness Report. And naturally so, the northern lights of Finland are enough to cheer anyone up. The country was closely followed by Denmark, Norway, Iceland and The Netherlands.
The World Happiness Report was released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations on March 20. The United Nations has declared March 20 as the International Day of Happiness.
The report ranks countries on six key variables that support well-being: income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity.
The report co-editor John Helliwell said, "The top 10 countries tend to rank high in all six variables, as well as emotional measures of well-being.”
Helliwell said that it is not just about native-born residents, even immigrants living in those countries have been the happiest immigrants. The report suggests that it is not just about Finnish DNA, but it is the way life is lived in countries such as this.
The people of Finland pay high taxes for a social safety net, they trust their government, they live in freedom and they are generous with each other. "They do care about each other," he says. "That's the kind of place people want to live."
Differences among the top eight countries are small enough that jostling among the top five is expected every year. Switzerland came in sixth place, followed by Sweden, New Zealand, Canada (the only country in the Americas) and Austria.
The 2019 list only changed a little from the previous year, with Austria nudging Australia out of the top 10. Australia dropped one spot to 11th place. New Zealand came in eighth place this year, as it did last year.
The United States came in 19th place, dropping one spot since last year and a total of five spots since 2017.
The United Kingdom came from the 18th place to the 15th place, while Germany came in 17th place, down from 15th.
People in South Sudan are the most unhappy with their lives, according to the survey of 156 countries, followed by Central African Republic (155), Afghanistan (154), Tanzania (153) and Rwanda (152).
Bolstered by population growth, the overall happiness has fallen over the past few years in India, which came in 140th place this year (versus 133rd place in 2018).
There has also been an increase of negative emotions, which were also measured, these include worry, sadness and anger.
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Last Updated Mar 20, 2019, 6:46 PM IST