March 20th marked the official World Happiness Day and the latest World Happiness Report, released by the United Nations, has ranked the happiest countries around the globe.
While Norway knocked three-time winner Denmark from No. 1 and secured its placed as the “world’s happiest country, Denmark came in second, with Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden following.
With Germany ranking 16th, the United Kingdom jumped four spots and moved to 19th place. Russia has also shown massive improvement by moving seven spots up to 49th place.
Moving on, Japan ranks 51st in the list of happiest countries in the world, while China nabbed the 79th spot.
People living in African nations seem to be most discontent with their lives, with Rwanda in 151st place, Tanzania in 153rd and Burundi in 154th. Even war-torn Syria (152nd) ranked above the latter two. This comes after the U.N. recently released a report stating the world is facing the worst humanitarian crisis since 1945.
Interestingly, the United States, which was on 13th place last year, dropped to the 14th. However, that doesn’t seem too surprising considering Donald Trump has stepped in as president.
Now, even though one of the key factors determining the ranks of the countries in this report is gross domestic product per capita, it is important to note that more money doesn’t mean more happiness.
The report takes into account other factors such as freedom from corruption, freedom to make life choices, healthy life and generosity, among others.
"As demonstrated by many countries, this report gives evidence that happiness is a result of creating strong social foundations. It's time to build social trust and healthy lives, not guns or walls. Let's hold our leaders to this fact,” said Jeffrey Sachs, the report's co-editor and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
Keeping in mind that people today spend a considerable amount of time at work, the report for 2017 also took into account happiness at the workplace.
Unfortunately, Donald Trump’s presidency doesn’t seem to be making things better for U.S. citizens. It is important to note that although the income per person has nearly tripled since 1960, happiness among Americans hasn’t increased. The country is still faces problems like corruption, public distrust and income inequality, making people unhappy and more troubled.
Trump’s federal budget, plan to strip health care from 24 million Americans and other policies are just creating more panic and worry for people in the U.S .While women are concerned over Planned Parenthood funds, income inequality and sexism, the POTUS’ hate rhetoric and has also sparked a rise in hate crime and racism, leading to further worries for people of minority groups.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Brendan McDermid