#InternationalDayofHappiness: #Finland Tops UN Happiness Ranking

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Happiness is usually associated with positive emotions; a deep sense or feeling of satisfaction or deep contentment. The theme of this year’s day of happiness is ‘Share Happiness’.

International Day of Happiness is celebrated annually, on March 20 with about 193 countries participating all over the world. Over the years, happiness has been tied and linked to the Sustainable Development goals and the achievement of its targets, especially goal 3- Good Health and Well-being.

A recent UN World Happiness Report recently revealed that Finland is the happiest country in the world with an average score of 7.632.

The report evaluates six variables: GDP (or gross domestic product) per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption and generosity. The surveys asked thousands of people across the globe to place themselves on a ladder with steps numbered from zero to 10, with 10 representing the best possible life—a method known as the Cantril scale.

One of the major highlights of this year’s report was the connection between migration and happiness, and countries were also ranked based on the happiness of their immigrants. Strikingly, the authors of the report found that immigrant happiness scores were almost identical to the scores of the population at large. Finland, for example, also came first in the ranking of immigrant happiness, followed by Denmark, Norway and Iceland.

Other Nordic nations also ranked high on the list of happiest countries; the top nine spots were occupied by Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia.

Burundi placed last in the ranking, with an average score of 2.905 followed by Central African Republic. Both countries are plagued by political instability and violence which may have resulted in their low happiness ranking.

Though most of the bottom ten spots are occupied by African nations, Togo is one of this year’s biggest gainers: the country ranked last in 2015, but rose 18 places in the 2018 report.

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