Finland Declared Happiest Country In The World For The Third Time

by Gizel Menezes
Finland Declared Happiest Country In The World For The Third Time
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Every day gives you the opportunity to learn something new! And for the third time in a row, Finland definitely has lessons to offer. The United Nations has released the 2020 edition of the World Happiness Report and Finland has taken the first place – again. With so much going on, we all need a little bit of happiness in our life, right?

The World Happiness Report ranked 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceived themselves to be, based on their evaluations of their own lives, taking into account six key variables: levels of GDP, life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom and corruption income.

Image Courtesy: The Straits Times

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Rankings Of Countries According To The World Happiness Report

The report, which was released on the International Day of Happiness, 20th March, saw all the Nordic countries in the first 10 spots, Finland at the top; Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland and Norway at second, third, fourth and fifth places, respectively.

The United Kingdom was ranked 13th while the United States got placed at 18th. Meanwhile, our own country India stands at 144, among the last few nations on the list.

The least happy countries as perceived by residents were Afghanistan, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Central African Republic.

This year’s report focussed especially on three environments – social, urban and natural – and how they affected happiness. And for the first time, the report also ranked individual cities by residents’ perception of their own well-being.

And as expected, Finland’s capital Helsinki was in the top spot, followed by Aarhus, Denmark; Wellington, New Zealand; Zurich, Switzerland; and Copenhagen, Denmark.

The least happy of the 186 cities ranked were Kabul, Afghanistan; Sanaa, Yemen; Gaza, Palestine; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; and Juba, South Sudan.

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Image Courtesy: World Economic Forum

Are People Happier During Times Of Crises?

Releasing the report at a time when countries are grappling with the coronavirus may seem strange but according to the editors of the report, while the global pandemic poses great risks to well-being, especially to health and income, earlier studies of earthquakes, floods, storms, tsunamis and even economic crises, have revealed that “a high trust society quite naturally looks for and finds co-operative ways to work together to repair the damage and rebuild better lives. This has led sometimes to surprising increases in happiness in the wake of what might otherwise seem to be unmitigated disasters.”

According to the report, the reason why happiness surges during these challenging times, is because “People are pleasantly surprised by the willingness of their neighbors and their institutions to work in harness to help each other. This delivers a heightened sense of belonging, and pride in what they have been able to achieve by way of mitigation. These gains are sometimes great enough to compensate for the material losses.”

Wow! Isn’t this report a great way to look at the pandemic as a way to unite and come together, restoring our faith in humanity and each other!