- Sputnik International, 1920
Get the latest news from around the world, live coverage, off-beat stories, features and analysis.

Finland Declared Happiest Country Six Years Running

CC0 / / Finland
Finland - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.03.2023
The creation of the World Happiness Report was spearheaded by former Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley, who introduced a resolution to the UN in 2011 that led to the first World Happiness report the following year and the creation of the International Day of Happiness which now coincides with the report’s release every year.
Forget Disney World, Finland has ranked as the happiest place on Earth for the sixth year in a row, according to the UN’s 2023 World Happiness Report.
The report was based on Gallup polling data covering six categories: Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, “freedom to make your life choices,” the generosity of the population and the perceived level of corruption in government.
It determines that citizens in Northern Europe are by far the happiest in the world, with Denmark and Iceland filling out the top three. The Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and Luxembourg are also in the top 10. The only non-European country on the top 10 list is newcomer Israel, which jumped eight places since last year, from 12 to four.
The United States also jumped in its rankings over the past year, rising from 19 to 15 while jumping Germany, the United Kingdom, Costa Rica and the Czech Republic.
The country jumping up the list fastest and most consistently is Lithuania, which reached the top 20 for the first time and has jumped more than 30 spots since 2017.
While Finland and northern Europe continue to dominate the top of the rankings, Afghanistan, plagued by decades of war and a ruined economy, has ranked dead last each of the past three years and was ranked 154th out of 156 counties in 2019.
Curiously, Bhutan, despite the country's role in the creation of the report, has not been ranked since 2019, though it is not clear why. In 2019, it ranked 95th out of 156 countries.
Euthanasia - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.11.2016
Dying With Dignity: Petition for 'Happy Departure' Gains Momentum in Finland
It is worth noting that measuring happiness is a highly subjective process. The Happy Planet Index, a different annual measure of happiness that last issued a report in 2020, put a lower emphasis on GDP and also considered the carbon footprint of individuals in each country. The last report using that method found that Costa Rica ranked highest while Finland ranked a relatively low 38.
According to Bhutan’s own measurements, which uses a similar system to the World Happiness Report, but replaces GDP with what is called a Gross National Happiness (GNH) score, which it scored highest on, giving it the highest rating. The government in Bhutan also claims it bases its policy decisions on increasing the GNH rather than the GDP.
Neither report, however, looked at seemingly relevant issues, like suicide and depression rates. Finland has the highest estimated rate of mental disorders in the European Union according to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) statistics. Finland also has a roughly comparable suicide rate to the United States and other countries much lower in the World Happiness Report.
Still, the placement at least proves Finland is performing well in a number of factors that lead to its consistently high ranking, with its citizens feeling they can climb the economic ladder, have freedom in their lives and that their government isn’t overly corrupt. Combined with the country’s high per capita GDP and long life expectancy, the report notes that Finland is far ahead of even second-place Denmark.
The report notes they hope to use social media sentiment in future reports, which the authors call “the largest cross-sectional and longitudinal dataset on emotions, cognitions, and behaviors in human history.”
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала