The world's countries have once again been ranked in terms of happiness, with Nordic countries topping the rankings and Turkey landing in the middle, on a U.N.-produced list released each year on March 20, the International Day of Happiness.
The World Happiness Report, produced by the U.N Sustainable Development Solutions Network, ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens see themselves to be. It's based on factors including economic wealth, life expectancy, social support and freedom to make life choices.
Finland is ranked at the top of the list for the second consecutive year. Researchers say this small Nordic country of 5.5 million people, are known for their love of forests, lakes and saunas. Finland thus, has succeeded in generating a happiness recipe not simply dependent on economic wealth. Denmark, Norway and Iceland took the next spots.
The Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Canada and Austria were the others in the top 10.
In 2017, Turkish Statistical Insitute's (TurkStat) figures indicated that 58 percent of Turkish people said they were happy. 73.4 percent of citizens said they were hopeful for the future. Turkey took 79th place on this year’s list among 156 countries.
The most content countries all tended to have very stable societies. Despite Brexit, UK rose its place to 15th. The US, meanwhile, is dropping one spot to nineteenth place.
The unhappiest nation is South Sudan. UN figures show that 60 percent of people face food insecurity following a bloody civil war which has killed an estimated number of 400,000 people. Yemen, Afghanistan and the Central African Republic, also featured at the bottom of the table.
The report warned that world happiness has declined in recent years, with a rise in negative feelings, comprising worry, sadness and anger, especially marked in Asia and Africa, and more recently elsewhere.
The five largest declines since 2005 were in Yemen, India, Syria, Botswana and Venezuela. Happiness has declined the most drastically in the past 10 years in the 108th-placed Venezuela, currently in political crisis.
Last Updated: 4/26/2019 10:33:54 AM