There’s cause for optimism in the latest report on world happiness. For one, benevolence is about 25% higher than it was pre-pandemic and global happiness has not taken a hit in the three years of the Covid-19 pandemic. Life evaluations from 2020 to 2022 have been “remarkably resilient,” the report says, with global averages basically in line with the three years preceding the pandemic.
The report, which is a publication of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, draws on global survey data from people in more than 150 countries. Countries are ranked on happiness based on their average life evaluations over the three preceding years, in this case, 2020 to 2022.
The report identifies the happiest nations, which were released on Monday, those at the very bottom of the happiness scale and everything in between, plus the factors that tend to lead to greater happiness. March 20 is the International Day of Happiness, designated by the United Nations marking its 10th anniversary in 2023.
For the sixth year in a row, Finland is the world’s happiest country, according to World Happiness Report rankings mainly based on life evaluations from the Gallup World Poll.
Finland and its neighbours Denmark, Iceland, Sweden and Norway all score very well on the measures the report uses to explain its findings: healthy life expectancy, GDP per capita, social support, low corruption, generosity in a community. A holistic view of the well-being of all the components of a society and its members makes for better life evaluations and happier countries.
However, Israel moves up to Number four this year from its No. 9 ranking last year. The Netherlands (5), Sweden (6), Norway (7), Switzerland (8), Luxembourg (No.9) and New Zealand (10) round out the top 10.
Australia (12), Canada (13), Ireland (14), the United States (15), the United Kingdom (19) and Lithuania (20) all made it into the top 20. France dropped out of the top 20 to No. 21 in this year’s report.
In the report, India came at the 126th position out of 137, behind Pakistan (108), Sri Lanka (112), Myanmar (117), and Bangladesh (118). External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has dismissed the World Happiness Index 2023, which ranked India among the least happy countries. At the very bottom of the list is Afghanistan at No.137 and Lebanon is one rank above at No.136.
World’s happiest countries for 2023 list:
- New Zealand
- United States
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
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