Finland is again the happiest country in the world – U.N. report

For a second year running Finland is the world's happiest country according to an annual survey issued on Wednesday (March 20) by a United Nations-affiliated group.

The 2019 World Happiness Report, prepared by the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), ranks 156 countries according to variables that support well-being, including GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.

This year it has put focus on happiness and the community – “how happiness has evolved over the past dozen years, with a focus on the technologies, social norms, conflicts and government policies that have driven those changes”.

The top ten continues to be dominated by the Nordics, with Denmark, Norway and Iceland snatching the other top spots, followed by Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Canada and Austria. The United States dropped one spot to 19th place.

Among the 20 top gainers in recent years are ten countries in Central and Eastern Europe, five in sub-Saharan Africa and three in Latin America while the five countries that have suffered the largest drops since 2005-2008 were Yemen, India, Syria, Botswana and Venezuela.

(Production: Ilze Filks, Martin Veal)

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