Finland Tops World Happiness Rankings for Seventh-Year Running

Finland Tops World Happiness Rankings

New Delhi: In the latest release of the United Nations’ annual World Happiness Report, Finland has been declared the happiest country globally for the seventh consecutive year. The 2024 rankings, which were published on Wednesday, reveal a consistent trend of Nordic dominance in the happiness index, with Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden following Finland’s lead.

Nordic Nations Lead as Global Happiness Champions

The report highlights the continued presence of Nordic countries within the top 10 happiest nations, attributing their high life satisfaction scores to robust social support systems, healthy work-life balance, and a deep connection to nature. Finland’s sustained position at the peak of this list underscores the country’s commitment to fostering a society where happiness and well-being are prioritized.

India Holds Steady, Large Populations Show Unhappiness

India maintains its position at 126th in the happiness ranking, unchanged from the previous year. The report notes a trend where countries with larger populations, including some of the world’s most populous nations, do not feature among the happiest. The Netherlands and Australia are the exceptions in the top 10, both with populations exceeding 15 million. In the top 20, only Canada and the UK have populations of over 30 million.

Shifts in Global Happiness: The Rise and Fall of Nations

Significant shifts have occurred in the global happiness landscape, with Afghanistan, under Taliban rule, ranking at the bottom. The United States and Germany, traditionally within the top 20, have seen a decline, with the US falling to 23rd and Germany to 24th place. Conversely, Costa Rica and Kuwait have made notable ascents to the 12th and 13th positions, respectively.

Eastern Europe’s Happiness Surge

The report documents the most substantial increases in happiness in Eastern European countries such as Serbia, Bulgaria, and Latvia since the period of 2006-10. This rise contrasts sharply with the declines observed in Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Jordan.

Finland Tops World Happiness Rankings

The Science Behind the Smiles

The World Happiness Report bases its rankings on a combination of factors, including individuals’ self-assessment of life satisfaction, GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and perceptions of corruption. The 2024 edition has taken a comprehensive approach, examining well-being through various life stages and across different global regions.

Jennifer Di Paola, a happiness researcher at the University of Helsinki, emphasizes the importance of a healthy work-life balance and a close connection to nature in contributing to the Finns’ life satisfaction. The report’s findings serve as a reminder of the diverse elements that contribute to a nation’s overall happiness and well-being.