Global Happiness Shakeup: Finland Tops Again, Major Powers Miss Top 20

March 27, 2024
1 min read
Youth Summit - raising our voices. Photo Credit: Jessica Lea/DFID (CC BY 2.0 DEED)

Everybody wants to be happy. But it is not possible to do so. For this purpose, one has to be a resident/citizen of Finland. Because Finland remained the world’s happiest country for a seventh straight year in an annual UN sponsored World Happiness Report published Wednesday. Nordic countries kept their places among the 10 most cheerful, with Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden trailing Finland.

Plagued by a humanitarian catastrophe since the Taliban regained control in 2020, Afghanistan stayed at the bottom of the 143 countries surveyed. For the first time since the report was published more than a decade ago, the US and Germany were not among the 20 happiest nations, coming in 23rd and 24th respectively.

In turn, Costa Rica and Kuwait entered the top 20 at 12 and 13. The report noted the happiest countries no longer included any of the world’s largest countries. In the top 10 countries only the Netherlands and Australia have populations over 15 million.

In the whole of the top 20, only Canada and the UK have populations over 30 million.

The sharpest decline in happiness since 2006-10 was noted in Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Jordan, while the Eastern European countries Bulgaria and Latvia reported the biggest increases.

India ranked 126, the same as last year, in the happy index. The happiness ranking is based on individuals’ self-assessed evaluations of life satisfaction. As well as GDP over capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and corruption. Jennifer De Paola, a happiness researcher at the University of Helsinki in Finland, said Finns’ close connection to nature and healthy work-life balance were key contributions to their life satisfaction.

The report also found that younger generations were happier than their older peers in most of the world’s regions- but not all. In Australia and New Zealand, happiness among groups under 30 has dropped dramatically since 2006-10, with older generations now happier than the young. Also, happiness inequality increased in every region except Europe, which authors described as a “worrying trend”.

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Happy League of the World
Happiness factors:

  • Dystopia-Residual
  • Perception of corruption
  • Generosity
  • Freedom to make life choices
  • Health life expectancy
  • Social support
  • Log GDP per capita

Key Ranking

  • Finland – 7.74
  • Denmark – 7.58
  • Iceland – 7.53
  • Sweden – 7.34
  • Israel – 7.34
  • Netherlands – 7.32
  • Norway – 7.30
  • Luxembourg – 7.12
  • Switzerland – 7.06
  • Australia – 7.05
  • China- 5.97
  • Nepal – 5.15
  • Pak- 4.65
  • India – 4.05

Tejal Somvanshi

Meet Tejal Somvanshi, a soulful wanderer and a staunch wellness advocate, who elegantly navigates through the enchanting domains of Fashion and Beauty with a natural panache. Her journey, vividly painted with hues from a vibrant past in the media production world, empowers her to carve out stories that slice through the cacophony, where brands morph into characters and marketing gimmicks evolve into intriguing plot twists. To Tejal, travel is not merely an activity; it unfolds as a chapter brimming with adventures and serendipitous tales, while health is not just a regimen but a steadfast companion in her everyday epic. In the realms of fashion and beauty, she discovers her muse, weaving a narrative where each style narrates a story, and every beauty trend sparks a dialogue. Tejal seamlessly melds the spontaneous spirit of the media industry with the eloquent prose of a storyteller, crafting tales as vibrant and dynamic as the industry she thrives in.

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