• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

Finland remains world’s happiest nation as USA slips out of top 20

Finland-economy

Finland has retained its crown as the world’s happiest country for the seventh consecutive time as the United States of America finds its way out of the top 20 on the back of a drop in wellbeing of young Americans.

Denmark and Iceland remained second and third, respectively, in The World Happiness Report unveiled on Wednesday by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

For the first time, the US moved out of the top 20 nations and fell to 23rd from 15th, “driven by a large drop in the wellbeing of Americans under 30,” the report stated. 

In its report, the World Happiness analysts considered such variables as social support, life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and the absence of corruption, in explaining varying levels of happiness between countries.

Rankings are based on individuals’ ratings of their own lives using the Cantril ladder life-evaluation question. While advanced economies generally score higher, the data also highlight exceptions. 

Other leading economies as Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, China and Russia ranked 15th, 20th, 24th, 51st,  60th, 72nd respectively. 

Several emerging market and middle-income economies and even some low-income developing countries outrank their advanced economy counterparts, underscoring how factors beyond income play critical roles in determining self- reported life satisfaction.

The report offers insights into the subjective well-being of people worldwide, going beyond mere economic indicators to capture the holistic experience of happiness.

Finns’ strong welfare society, trust in state authorities, low levels of corruption and free healthcare and education were instrumental to its longstanding ranking.