The World Happiness Report was released by United Nations Development Solutions Network. This report is annual publication. The first report was released in April 2012.
The researches contains data based on a survey of respondents about their own lives considering various life factors. The report correlates with GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and corruption level.
Which countries are the happiest?
Finland has been named the Happiest Country in the World. This country is far ahead of others and shows some growth.
Here are the top 10 countries according the World Happiness Report 2019:
- Finland Index: 7.769
- Denmark Index: 7.600
- Norway Index: 7.554
- Iceland Index: 7.494
- Netherlands Index: 7.488
- Switzerland Index: 7.480
- Sweden Index: 7.343
- New Zealand Index: 7.307
- Canada Index: 7.278
- Austria Index: 7.246
The superpowers are not in the top. The United States is 19th, Great Britain is 15th, Germany is 17th, down from 15th, Russia is 68th, and China is 93rd.
The most unhappy countries according this report are: Afghanistan, Central African Republic and South Sudan. They are located at the end of the list.
Of course, any such study is based on assessment and ambiguous. A large number of critics cite as arguments the inconsistency of factors taken for evaluation, and as the relativity and ambiguity of the understanding of happiness as well.
Some point out that the ranking results are counterintuitive because the some countries from the top of happiness rating are also feature among the top with the highest suicide rates in the world.
There are some other researches that show completely different results. For example, the Happy Planet Index proposed by the New Economics Foundation.
The last report of Happy Planet Index was released in 2012. The first positions in the list were held by the following countries. In 2009 Costa Rica is the first, Dominican Republic is the second, Jamaica is the third. And in 2012 Costa Rica is the first, Vietnam is the second; Colombia is the third.
The calculation of the Happy Planet Index based on the assumption that it is more important for people is not to be rich but to be happy and healthy. Subjective life satisfaction, life expectancy and environmental factor are taken into account.