The World Happiness Report is released every year and is based on Gallup World Poll findings, which seek to “measure the attitudes and behaviours of the world’s residents” and how they change over time.
For the sixth year in a row, Finland is the world’s happiest country, according to World Happiness Report rankings based largely on life evaluations from the Gallup World Poll.
The Nordic country and its neighbours Denmark, Iceland, Sweden and Norway all score very well on the measures the report uses to explain its findings: healthy life expectancy, GDP per capita, social support, low corruption, generosity in a community where people look after each other and freedom to make key life decisions.
But since we can’t all move to Finland, is there something other societies can learn from these rankings?
“Is it, are they doing things that we wish we’d seen before and we can start doing? Or is it something unique about their climate and history that makes them different? And fortunately, at least from my perspective, the answer is the former,” said Helliwell, who is a professor emeritus at the Vancouver School of Economics, University of British Columbia.
Taking a holistic view of the well-being of all the components of a society and its members makes for better life evaluations and happier countries.
“The objective of every institution should be to contribute what it can to human well-being,” the report says, which includes accounting for future generations and preserving basic human rights.
Israel moves up to No. 4 this year from its No. 9 ranking last year. The Netherlands (No. 5), Switzerland (No. 8), Luxembourg (No. 9) and New Zealand (No. 10) round out the top 10.
Australia (No. 12), Canada (No. 13), Ireland (No. 14), the United States (No. 15) and the United Kingdom (No. 19) all made it into the top 20.
Although it’s impossible to truly measure happiness, there are a few ways of estimating how people around the world are feeling in their home country.
The report takes into consideration life expectancy, freedom of citizens, amount of corruption and GDP (gross domestic product) per capita.
Where did Greece and Cyprus land? In the 58th spot out of the 109 countries on the report and Cyprus at 46.