The World’s Happiest Countries Before Covid-19: Finland Keeps The Top Spot
–Samantha Lewis | Mailonline
Finland – where ice swimming is popular – has been named the happiest country in the world for the third year in a row by the World Happiness Report. Finland has been named the happiest country in the world for the third year in a row by the World Happiness Report – and Afghanistan ranked the bleakest.
The annual United Nations World Happiness Report ranks over 150 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be, according to their evaluations of their own lives.
Denmark takes the No.2 spot in 2020’s study, followed by Switzerland in third place and Iceland in fourth. The UK climbs two places to 13th and the U.S is up one place to 18th.
The Happiest And Least Happiest Countries And Cities In The World.
6. The Netherlands
8. New Zealand
15. Costa Rica
19. Czech Republic
LEAST HAPPY COUNTRIES
2. South Sudan
5. Central African Republic
15. Sierra Leone
1. Helsinki, Finland
2. Aarhus, Denmark
3. Wellington, New Zealand
4. Zurich, Switzerland
5. Copenhagen, Denmark
6. Bergen, Norway
7. Oslo, Norway
8. Tel Aviv, Israel
9. Stockholm, Sweden
10. Brisbane, Australia
11. San Jose, Costa Rica
12. Reykjavik, Iceland
13. Toronto Metro, Canada
14. Melbourne, Australia
15. Perth, Australia
16. Auckland, New Zealand
17. Christchurch, New Zealand
18. Washington, USA
19. Dallas, USA
20. Sydney, Australia
LEAST HAPPY CITIES
1. Kabul, Afghanistan
2. Sanaa, Yemen
3. Gaza, Palestine
4. Port-au-Prince, Haiti
5. Juba, South Sudan
6. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
7. Delhi, India
8. Maseru, Lesotho
9. Bangui, CAR
10. Cairo, Egypt
11. Kigali, Rwanda
12. Kumasi, Ghana
13. Khartoum, Sudan
14. Monrovia, Liberia
15. Antananarivo, Madagascar
16. Harare, Zimbabwe
17. Colombo, Sri Lanka
18. Lome, Togo
19. Gaborone, Botswana
20. Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The remaining countries in the top ten are Norway (5th), the Netherlands (6th), Sweden (7th), New Zealand (8th), and Austria (9th), followed by top-10 newcomer Luxembourg.
Joining Afghanistan (153rd) at the bottom of the table are South Sudan (152nd), Zimbabwe (151st), Rwanda (150th), Central African Republic (149th), Tanzania (148th), Botswana (147th), Yemen (146th), Malawi (145th) and India (144th).
In addition to the country rankings, the World Happiness Report 2020, for the first time, has ranked cities around the world according to subjective wellbeing.
The report shows that in general the happiness ranking of cities is almost identical to that of the countries in which they are located. And it comes as no surprise that the happiest city is Finland’s capital, Helsinki.
Filling out the rest of the top ten are Aarhus, Denmark (2nd); Wellington, New Zealand (3rd); Zurich, Switzerland (4th); Copenhagen, Denmark (5th); Bergen, Norway (6th); Oslo, Norway (7th); Tel Aviv, Israel (8th); Stockholm, Sweden (9th), and Brisbane, Australia (10th).
Meanwhile, Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan (186th), is at the bottom of the table followed by Sanaa in Yemen (185th) and Gaza in Palestine (184th). Above those are Port-au-Prince, Haiti (183rd); Juba, South Sudan (182nd); Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (181st); Delhi, India (180th); Maseru, Lesotho (179th); Bangui, CAR (178th), and Cairo in Egypt (177th).
Professor John F. Helliwell of the University of British Columbia, who co-edited the report, said: ‘A happy social environment, whether urban or rural, is one where people feel a sense of belonging, where they trust and enjoy each other and their shared institutions.
‘There is also more resilience, because shared trust reduces the burden of hardships, and thereby lessens the inequality of wellbeing.’
While Professor Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, director of the wellbeing research centre at the University of Oxford, commented: ‘Generally, we find that the average happiness of city residents is more often than not higher than the average happiness of the general country population, especially in countries at the lower end of economic development.
‘But this urban happiness advantage evaporates and sometimes turns negative for cities in high-income countries, suggesting that the search for happiness may well be more fruitful when looking to live in more rural areas.’
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