Finland has perched itself on the top of the UN annual World Happiness Report for the third time in a row. Other Nordic countries also populate the list
Happiness is the elusive quotient that we are all chasing after. Quite erroneously, we run after objects found in our outside world to seek the same. But doesn’t our happiness also depend on the environment in which we are situated? Perhaps it does, if a recently revealed annual World Happiness Report brought out by UN is to be believed. Finland, a Scandinavian country, has topped the list for the third time on the trot. Another Scandinavian country, Denmark, occupies the second place. Switzerland that rounds up the top three, has just about reared its head above Norway ( surprise! surprise! a Nordic country), to edge it out of its habitual podium finish. Is it something about Scandinavia that’s making people happy – you think?
What Is World Happiness Report?
The World Happiness Report, published since 2012, is an annual survey commissioned by the United Nations and executed by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations. It ranks countries on the basis of the happiness index factorising the results of a Gallup World Poll combining it with six parameters: per capita GDP, life expectancy, freedom of choice, overall generosity & social support, corruption and income.
A crucial question here could be – does happy country make happy people or does happy people make happy country?
So What Makes These Finns Happy?
According to a senior director of a Finnish public agency, the natives love their forests, which occupies about 70% of the landmass, spending ample time amidst greenery. People love taking icy dips in cold lakes/seas as much as sweating in a sauna. Obsessed with baking korvapuusti (local cinnamon bun), they are a nation of voracious book-readers (5.5 million inhabitants borrow close to 68 million books from public libraries per year) and gallery visitors ( they have more than 55 art museums).
Other Happy Countries
While Germany managed to reprise its spot at 17, United Kingdom climbed two rungs of the ladder to place itself at 13. Japan, Russia and China lost their grip on their previous ranking by four, five and one spot, respectively to currently occupy position no. 62, 73 and 94, in the given order. Togo, a country in West Africa, West on the Gulf of Guinea, known for its palm-lined beaches and hilltop villages, shifted up 17 places – the most improvement exhibited, when compared with the 2008–2015 iterations.
Top 20 Happy Countries
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- Costa Rica
- United States
- Czech Republic