The World Happiness Report is an annual report by the United Nations that shows a list of the happiest places in the world, a refreshing change that reaffirms our belief in the spirit of optimism and fraternity amidst all the negativity and violence. Happiness here doesn’t just signify the financial growth and prosperity of a nation but also the everyday conduct and attitude of the common people residing there.
Published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the list takes into account factors such as average life expectancy, personal freedom, public trust, GDP per capita income of the people of the country.
Sweden is among the five Nordic nations that have been a consistent part of the World Happiness Report. The country is the third largest consumer of coffee and is a dream destination for caffeine lovers. The tradition of Fika or “break time” further strengthens the communal harmony as people meet over coffee shops to discuss news, politics and other interesting titbits.
Australia comes just after New Zealand and stands ninth in the list of the happiest countries. It is the sixth largest country in the world by area and has low pollution levels, tight-knit local communities, and robust civic engagement. The nation also has the most number of national parks, outdoor spaces, and hangouts for people to get together and host BBQ parties.
8. New Zealand
New Zealand and Australia have always been at loggerheads when deciding the better of the two nations. According to UN, New Zealand clearly takes away the cake here, the Kiwis are happier than their northern neighbor. The people here are healthy with an average life expectancy of 81 years and have all the freedom to live and follow their beliefs.
While Americans are getting sadder, people of Canada continue to uphold the spirit of positivity and harmony in the continent. Known for their liberal policies and religious tolerance, Canada ranks seventh in the list. The citizens of the nation are healthy, happy and have overall high life expectancy when compared to its neighboring countries. Also, the country has a powerful financial framework and political stability that boosts its growth.
The Dutch country is often considered the cultural center and is visited by art lovers and travelers from all over the world. The land famous for Van Gogh, tulips, and canals, Netherlands is a small but beautiful country, perhaps the warmest in the top six nations. The people of Netherlands are among the fittest and most active in the world.
Standing in the fifth position, Finland is famous for its winter sports but also a visual delight for traveler during the summer months. Among the 156 nations that were surveyed for the report, Finland was ranked just after the “big four” because of its strong government policies and increased productivity in the industrial sector without compromising on the environment. The Finnish saunas are a revered custom of the country and have warmed the hearts of the people as well.
The green valleys, scenic hills and beautiful cottages of Switzerland form the perfect picture of bliss and contentment. Also dubbed as paradise on earth and rightfully so, the country also has a powerful socio-economic framework that supports personal well-being and rights of its citizens. The country is not just known for its chocolates, cheese, and watches but also the cultural diversity and communal harmony of the people living there. The average life expectancy of the nation in 80 years!
The capital city of Revajik stands third on the list of happiest countries of the world. Travelers from all over the world flock to the country to see the Mystic Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. Other than that this small country is also known to house some of the nicest people in the world. The harsh and cold climate of Iceland is compensated by the warm hearts of the people here. The nation was surprisingly calm and positive during the 2007 economic crisis despite the banking crashes and other monetary losses.
The happiness quotient and positivity of the country can be gauged from the fact that Denmark was crowned the happiest country three of the five times since the report has been issued. The nation has excelled in all of the six categories set by UN to judge a country’s prosperity. The financial growth, government support, eco-friendly policies and solid healthcare support make Denmark a dream destination to settle in.
Norway has jumped from the 4th rank to being crowned the happiest country in the world by the UN in 2017. Denmark, Iceland, and Switzerland follow close behind and together these four countries create quite an example for the ideal utopia. Set in Scandinavia, the country is a treat for the senses and is frequented by tourists from all over. Peppered with fjords, hills and deep valleys, the country is among the most peaceful nations of the world.
Looking at the other countries:
The aim of the World Happiness Report is to encourage and promote the countries that display the most tolerant and efficient of societies. While Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland and Norway bagged the first four spots in the list of world’s happiest, countries like Burundi, Syria, Togo and Afghanistan were deemed to be the least happy nations by the UN. Even superpowers like USA and China fail to make it to the top 10. These nations lost their position to the rising Nordic nations.
America ranked third in the 2007 report fell to the 18th position. Even China is a case of reversed growth when it comes to creating a happy atmosphere for its people. Over the last 25 years, the country has experienced a steady decline in the socio-political policies and loss of public faith. India, on the other hand, ranks 122 because of its communal violence, ever growing corruption and lack of personal freedom and rise in prejudices.
The continent of Africa is counted as among the most aggressive and backward of places for all its natural beauty and cultural diversity.