These Are the World's Happiest Countries of 2019

Did your country make the cut?

Apr 5, 2019

(Veronika Galkina / Shutterstock.com)

The 2019 World Happiness Report has been released, and Finland has once again been awarded the number one spot of the happiest country!

According to the newest report, Nordic countries - while not necessarily the richest in the world - are among the top 5 happiest nations.

Produced by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the annual report ranks 156 countries based on how citizens perceive their own happiness.

The Report’s website states:

This year’s World Happiness Report focuses 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.

In order to assess these factors, participants are asked to explore their happiness vis-à-vis their country’s GDP, social support networks, life expectancy, generosity, recent emotions, freedom to make life choices, and perceived corruption.

Finland takes the gold medal as it ranked the highest in most of the categories. This is because Finland has a strong culture of charity, almost no corruption, plenty of personal freedoms, and a strong social safety net- not to mention a good work-life balance. The United States in comparison ranked number 19, slipping down from the last year’s 18th place.

The report shows that governments are able to affect citizen’s happiness by providing strong public resources and safety nets, increasing civic engagement, minimizing corruption, ensuring the accessibility of basic resources, and by increasing personal freedoms.

Here are the 10 countries that scored the highest:

  1. Finland
    2. Denmark
    3. Norway
    4. Iceland
    5. Netherlands
    6. Switzerland
    7. Sweden
    8. New Zealand
    9. Canada
    10. Australia

One of the clearest takeaways of the report is that the Beatles were right- money cannot buy us happiness.  While money does play some role in the happiness of citizens, this is only accurate to a certain degree, as rights, freedoms, health, and kindness are incredibly important in achieving true happiness.

The world happiness index is not the only international measure of happiness; the Happy Planet Index, which accounts for sustained happiness on a healthy planet, places Costa Rica as the top happy and sustainable country in the world.

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HILLA BENZAKEN, CONTRIBUTOR
Hilla Benzaken is a dedicated optimist. Her happy place involves cooking, acting, gardening, and fighting for social justice. She writes about all things sustainability, innovation, and DIY.

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