This is the world's happiest country in 2019

The UN's World Happiness Report has revealed the happiest countries of 2019

Posted: Mar 20, 2019 8:22 AM


Finland has a lot to celebrate.

Not only does it have a capital city bursting with gastronomic creativity, the spectacular Northern Lights and Santa Claus's year-round home (plus the reindeer support staff) in Lapland. It's also the happiest country in the world for the second year in a row, according to the latest World Happiness Report.

It's followed by Denmark, Norway, Iceland and The Netherlands.

The World Happiness Report was released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations on March 20, the United Nations has declared to be International Day of Happiness.

The report ranks countries on six key variables that support well-being: income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity.

"The top 10 countries tend to rank high in all six variables, as well as emotional measures of well-being," says report co-editor John Helliwell, a professor emeritus of economics at the University of British Columbia.

And that's not just about the native-born residents of those countries. "It's true that last year all Finns were happier than rest of the countries' residents, but their immigrants were also happiest immigrants in the world," Helliwell. "It's not about Finnish DNA. It's the way life is lived in those countries.

They pay high taxes for a social safety net, they trust their government, they live in freedom and they are generous with each other. "They do care about each other," he says. "That's the kind of place people want to live."

Differences among the top eight countries are small enough that jostling among the top five is expected every year.

Switzerland came in sixth place, followed by Sweden, New Zealand, Canada (the only country in the Americas) and Austria.

The 2019 list only changed a little, with Austria nudged Australia out of the top 10 list. Australia dropped one spot to 11th place.

Support in difficult times

Ranking high in happiness doesn't protect a country's people from violence or trauma, as the recent attack on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand shows. But the response of New Zealand's people to the attack does.

New Zealand came in eighth place this year, as it did last year.

"What stands out about the happiest and most well connected societies is their resilience and ability to deal with bad things," says Helliwell. "After the 2011 earthquake and now the terrorist attack in Christchurch -- with high social capital, where people are connected -- people rally and help each other and (in after the earthquake) rebuild immediately."

The US rank is dropping

The United States came in 19th place, dropping one spot since last year and a total of five spots since 2017.

Except for its 10th place ranking for income, the US doesn't rank in the top 10 on measures that make up a happy country in the UN report. They include 12th place for generosity, 37th place for social support, 61st place for freedom and 42nd place for corruption.

Addiction is partly to blame, says report co-author Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, who wrote a chapter focused on the US epidemic of addictions and on unhappiness in America, a rich country where happiness has been declining.

This year's report provides sobering evidence of how addictions are causing considerable unhappiness and depression in the US," says Sachs, in a press release. "Addictions come in many forms, from substance abuse to gambling to digital media. The compulsive pursuit of substance abuse and addictive behaviors is causing severe unhappiness."

Social connections are weakening in the US as social media usage is raising anxiety, especially among adolescents, says Helliwell.

Superpowers are not super happy

No other super powers made it into the top 10 rankings, either. The United Kingdom came in 15th place, up from 18th place, while Germany came in 17th place, down from 15th. Japan came in 58th place (down from 54th), Russia came in 68th place (down from 59th) and China came in 93rd place (down from 86th).

People in South Sudan are the most unhappy with their lives, according to the survey of 156 countries, followed by Central African Republic (155), Afghanistan (154), Tanzania (153) and Rwanda (152).

Bolstered by population growth, overall world happiness has fallen over the past few years, which has mostly been fueled by a sustained drop in India, which came in 140th place this year (versus 133rd place in 2018). There has also been an increase of negative emotions, which were also measured and include worry, sadness and anger.

It began with Bhutan

The prime minister of the tiny country of Bhutan proposed a World Happiness Day to the United Nations in 2011, which brought international attention to happiness as a metric. Bhutan came in 95th place (up two spots from last year) in this year's report.

In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly declared March 20 as World Happiness Day, recognizing "the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives."

This report is the seventh to come out since 2012. The rankings of the world's happiest countries came from an analysis of data from surveys in 156 countries, including the Gallup World Poll starting in 2005-2006.

World's happiest countries

1. Finland

2. Denmark

3. Norway

4. Iceland

5. Netherlands

6. Switzerland

7. Sweden

8. New Zealand

9. Canada

10. Australia

World's least happy countries

1. South Sudan

2. Central African Republic

3. Afghanistan

4. Tanzania

5. Rwanda

6. Yemen

7. Malawi

8. Syria

9. Botswana

10. Haiti

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 69975

Reported Deaths: 3007
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15152724
Lake7222273
Elkhart468079
Allen3695160
St. Joseph322479
Hamilton2572104
Vanderburgh180013
Hendricks1796105
Cass17609
Johnson1674118
Porter121339
Clark112646
Tippecanoe112311
Madison87265
LaPorte85029
Howard82965
Kosciusko82412
Marshall75222
Bartholomew74947
Floyd72945
Monroe69930
Delaware66552
Dubois65512
Boone64946
Noble63829
Hancock63438
Jackson5564
LaGrange54910
Warrick54030
Shelby53027
Vigo52810
Grant51129
Dearborn47728
Morgan44034
Clinton3883
Henry36519
White34910
Montgomery34321
Wayne33710
Lawrence33227
Decatur32232
Harrison30422
Miami2602
Scott25210
Daviess25119
Greene24034
Putnam2348
Franklin23113
DeKalb2224
Jasper2162
Jennings21412
Gibson2044
Steuben2033
Ripley1947
Perry17212
Starke1707
Orange16424
Fayette1637
Posey1610
Wabash1613
Jefferson1532
Carroll1522
Fulton1502
Whitley1496
Wells1442
Knox1400
Tipton1266
Huntington1193
Washington1171
Spencer1163
Newton11410
Randolph1094
Clay1025
Adams842
Sullivan831
Jay820
Owen821
Rush804
Pulaski751
Brown701
Fountain642
Benton600
Blackford562
Ohio564
Pike500
Parke491
Vermillion470
Crawford440
Switzerland430
Martin420
Union330
Warren191
Unassigned0202

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 96305

Reported Deaths: 3596
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin17619517
Cuyahoga13011487
Hamilton9297249
Lucas5114320
Montgomery411485
Summit3399218
Marion290145
Butler277861
Mahoning2470253
Pickaway237442
Stark1756137
Warren168935
Lorain166577
Columbiana160760
Trumbull1465105
Fairfield128529
Delaware124118
Licking117947
Clark110414
Lake106437
Wood97358
Clermont87411
Medina86935
Miami78837
Tuscarawas75914
Portage73460
Allen68242
Greene64411
Belmont59126
Mercer56113
Richland55911
Ashtabula55145
Erie54627
Geauga54044
Wayne51758
Ross4314
Huron3835
Ottawa36525
Sandusky35416
Athens3521
Darke34827
Hancock3443
Madison34310
Holmes3266
Lawrence2340
Auglaize2335
Union2281
Jefferson2122
Muskingum2071
Scioto2041
Putnam19817
Washington19822
Knox1897
Coshocton1866
Seneca1773
Preble1752
Crawford1685
Shelby1684
Morrow1632
Hardin15812
Clinton1546
Champaign1512
Fulton1431
Highland1411
Logan1362
Ashland1353
Defiance1334
Williams1293
Wyandot1287
Brown1201
Hocking1149
Guernsey1137
Perry1133
Carroll1105
Henry1102
Fayette1040
Monroe9118
Pike730
Jackson700
Van Wert701
Paulding640
Gallia621
Adams592
Vinton302
Meigs290
Harrison221
Morgan210
Noble160
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 75°
Angola
Broken Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 73°
Huntington
Scattered Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 76°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 74°
Van Wert
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 73°
Sunny, Pleasant Friday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events