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Finland is again the happiest country in the world

October 27, 2020
By: Gerd Alscher

The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness that ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. The rankings of country happiness are based this year on the pooled results from Gallup World Poll surveys from 2017-2019 and continue to show both change and stability. The top countries tend to have high values for most of the key variables that have been found to support well-being, including income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust, and generosity, to such a degree that year to year changes in the top rankings are to be expected. Over the eight editions of the Report, four different countries have held the top position: Denmark in 2012, 2013 and 2016, Switzerland in 2015, Norway in 2017, and now Finland in 2018, 2019 and 2020. With its continuing upward trend in average scores, Finland consolidated its hold on first place, now significantly ahead of an also-rising Denmark in second place, and an even faster-rising Switzerland in 3rd, followed by Iceland in 4th and Norway 5th. The remaining countries in the top ten are the Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand, and Austria in 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th followed this year by a top-ten newcomer Luxembourg, which pushes Canada and Australia to 11th and 12th, followed by the United Kingdom in 13th, five places higher than in the first World Happiness Report. The rest of the top 20 include, in order, Israel, Costa Rica, Ireland, Germany, the United States, the Czech Republic, and Belgium. (source: https://happiness-report.s3.amazonaws.com/2020/WHR20.pdf, 26.10.2020)

The first World Happiness Report was released on April 1, 2012 as a foundational text for the UN High Level Meeting: Well-being and Happiness: Defining a New Economic Paradigm, drawing international attention.The report outlined the state of world happiness, causes of happiness and misery, and policy implications highlighted by case studies. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Happiness_Report, 26.10.2020)

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