Finland is the World’s Happiest Country (Again), U.S. is No. 19

Strauß is quite happy to fiddle in Austria

By Jesse Sokolow on 20 March 2019
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If you think you could be happier living somewhere else, consider a colder climate. That’s the message from the results of the 2019 World Happiness Report, which was released Wednesday in observance of World Happiness Day.

Finland took the number one spot for the second year running.  Three Nordic cousins – Denmark, Norway, and Iceland, followed. Others in the top ten include the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Canada, and Austria. The United States, incidentally, ranked 19th, dropping one spot from last year. It was number 13 in 2016.

The report was prepared by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, an international panel of economists, psychologists, and public health experts convened by the United Nations, using an average of three years of surveys conducted by Gallup between 2016 and 2018.

It ranks 156 countries based by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be.

“We are in an era of rising tensions and negative emotions and these findings point to underlying challenges that need to be addressed,” said Jeffrey Sachs, one of the authors of the report.

The report’s authors look at factors such as gross domestic product, social support from friends and family, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, perceived corruption and recent emotions — both happy and sad.

The report also examines what the authors termed the epidemic of addictions and unhappiness in the United States, “a rich country yet one where happiness has been declining rather than rising.”

The first World Happiness Report, the creation of which was approved unanimously by the U.N. General Council in 2012, was released in 2012, ahead of the International Day of Happiness, also known as Happiness Day, which falls on March 20.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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