Holidays are normally the light at the end of the tunnel for many people but even that glow is being extinguished in these difficult times of coronavirus. Positive news can seem rare at the moment, but it is still out there. Yesterday, the United Nations World Happiness Report revealed which are the happiest countries in the world.
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“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,” explained the report.
“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.
“The top 20 countries are the same as last year, although there have been ranking changes within the group.“
Finland was named as the happiest country in the world right now.
It is the third year running the Nordic country has come in first place.
Finland has “a score that is now significantly ahead of other countries in the top ten,” said the report.
Finnish capital Helsinki was also named as the happiest city of them all.
In second place was Denmark followed by Switzerland in third place.
The report detailed: “Denmark and Switzerland have also increased their average scores from last year’s rankings.
“Denmark continues to occupy second place. Switzerland, with its larger increase, jumps from sixth place to third.” Danish city Aarhus was named the second happiest city in the world in the report.
In fourth place was Iceland and in fifth place Norway.
So why are the Nordic countries quite so happy?
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“Clearly, when it comes to the level of average life evaluations, the Nordic states are doing something right, but Nordic exceptionalism isn’t confined to citizen’s happiness,” explained the report.
“No matter whether we look at the state of democracy and political rights, lack of corruption, trust between citizens, felt safety, social cohesion, gender equality, equal distribution of incomes, Human Development Index, or many other global comparisons, one tends to find the Nordic countries in the global top spots.”
The report continued: “The most prominent explanations [for why Nordic citizens are satisfied with their lives] include factors related to the quality of institutions, such as reliable and extensive welfare benefits, low corruption, and well-functioning democracy and state institutions.
“Furthermore, Nordic citizens experience a high sense of autonomy and freedom, as well as high levels of social trust towards each other, which play an important role in determining life satisfaction.”
Denmark, Finland, and Sweden also occupy the top three positions in their index of social cohesion, “making trust and social cohesion one additional explanation for the Nordic happiness,” explained the report.
The remaining top 10 happiest countries in the world were the Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand, Austria and Luxembourg.
Although the UK didn’t make it into the top 10 it did come in 13th place after Canada and Australia.
Top 10 happiest countries in the world
8. New Zealand
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