Opinion Details

World Happiness Report 2020 - By Whatzoff

20/03/2020

World Happiness Report 2020

World's 20 Happiest Countries

  1. Finland
  2. Denmark
  3. Switzerland
  4. Iceland
  5. Norway
  6. Netherlands
  7. Sweden
  8. New Zealand
  9. Austria
  10. Luxembourg
  11. Canada
  12. Australia
  13. United Kingdom
  14. Israel
  15. Costa Rica
  16. Ireland
  17. Germany
  18. United States
  19. Czech Republic
  20. Belgium

 

World's Unhappiest Countries

  1. Afghanistan
  2. South Sudan
  3. Zimbabwe
  4. Rwanda
  5. Central African Republic
  6. Tanzania
  7. Botswana
  8. Yemen
  9. Malawi
  10. India

World’s Happiest Cities

  1. Helsinki, Finland
  2. Aarhus, Denmark
  3. Wellington, New Zealand
  4. Zurich, Switzerland
  5. Copenhagen, Denmark
  6. Bergen, Norway
  7. Oslo, Norway
  8. Tel Aviv, Israel
  9. Stockholm, Sweden
  10. Brisbane, Australia

World’s Unhappiest Cities

  1. Kabul, Afghanistan
  2. Sanaa, Yemen
  3. Gaza, Palestine
  4. Port-a-Prince, Haiti
  5. Juba, South Sudan
  6. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  7. Delhi, India
  8. Maseru, Lesotho
  9. Bangui, Central African Republic
  10. Cairo, Egypt

 

At a time like this—when the coronavirus pandemic is sweeping the globe and has killed over 10,000 people—we need some happy news. The annual World Happiness Report has just been released, timed to the UN's annual International Day of Happiness on March 20. For the third year in a row, Finland has placed at the top of the list as the happiest country in the world, with Denmark coming in second, followed by Switzerland, which pushed Norway out of the top three this year.

And while it seems like a strange time to be evaluating happiness, the editors of the report point out that challenging times can actually increase happiness in healthy societies. “The global pandemic poses great risks for some of the main supports for well-being, most especially health and income,” the editors explain in an addendum. “As revealed by earlier studies of earthquakes, floods, storms, tsunamis and even economic crises, 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.”

The reason, they say? “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.”

The World Happiness Report is an annual survey by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations. It looks at the state of global happiness in 156 countries, ranking countries based on six variables: income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity. The World Happiness Report was originally launched in 2012, and each year, it has a slightly different focus. This year’s report focuses especially on the environment—social, urban and natural—and how these three categories affect happiness.

For the first time, the 2020 report also ranked the happiest cities around the world. The top 10 is dominated by Scandinavian cities, with Finland’s capital, Helsinki, ranking as the happiest city in the world. The editors of this report say their ranking is different from other lists in that it doesn’t just rely on factors that researchers consider relevant. “Our ranking relies on city residents’ self-reports of how they themselves evaluate the quality of their lives,” say the editors. “Arguably, this bottom-up approach gives a direct voice to the population as opposed to the more top-down approach of deciding ex-ante what ought to matter for the well-being of city residents.”

The unhappiest cities have some common themes. Most are located in underdeveloped countries, including Africa and the Middle East and have experienced war (Kabul in Afghanistan and Sanaa in Yemen), armed conflict (Gaza in Palestine), civil war (Juba in South Sudan, Bangui in the Central African Republic), political instability (Cairo in Egypt) or devastating natural catastrophes (Port-au-Prince in Haiti).

Source : Forbes

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