The eighth World Happiness Report (WHR) is out… and the result for the Nordic countries is fine, but disturbing for many.
Do we really want to be the centre of attention for “Happiness” when so much wrong is going on:
- Climate Change is being ignored by foolish leaders in too many big and small countries just because they want to be re-elected and that, in their opinion, means not upsetting the fossil fuel & partners’ lobby who are wiling to foot ridiculously expensive advertising on Twitter, Facebook and Google, etc!
- The Corona virus is also treated with contempt as if it is a big and dirty surprise from China, while tens of millions are killed by cars, fossil fuel emissions, tobacco, hunger, wars, etc…
This report actually should tell the world how the Nordics and other high-level performers have achieved a well-functioning society and a reasonably healthy economy because, and only because, we have good public education, a well managed public healthcare service, and politicians who can work efficiently together across party lines when necessary for the good of the country.
Here is a quick summary of the latest data from the new WHR report that can be found at this site:
First, there is still a lot of year-to-year consistency in the way people rate their lives in different countries, and since we do our ranking on a three-year average, there is information carried forward from one year to the next. Nonetheless, there are interesting changes. Finland reported a modest increase in happiness from 2015 to 2017, and has remained roughly at that higher level since then. As a result, dropping 2016 and adding 2019 further boosts Finland’s world-leading average score. It continues to occupy the top spot for the third year in a row, and with a score that is now significantly ahead of other countries in the top ten.
Denmark and Switzerland have also increased their average scores from last year’s rankings. Denmark continues to occupy second place. Switzerland, with its larger increase, jumps from 6th place to 3rd. Last year’s third ranking country, Norway, is now in 5th place with a modest decline in average score, most of which occurred around between 2017 and 2018. Iceland is in 4th place; its new survey in 2019 does little to change its 3-year average score. The Netherlands slipped into 6th place, one spot lower than in last year’s ranking.
The next two countries in the ranking are the same as last year, Sweden and New Zealand in 7th and 8th places, respectively, both with little change in their average scores. In 9th and 10th place are Austria and Luxembourg, respectively. The former is one spot higher than last year. For Luxembourg, this year’s ranking represents a substantial upward movement; it was in 14th place last year. Luxembourg’s 2019 score is its highest ever since Gallup started polling the country in 2009.
Canada slipped out of the top ten, from 9th place last year to 11th this year. Its 2019 score is the lowest since the Gallup poll begins for Canada in 2005.13 Right after Canada is Australia in 12th, followed by United Kingdom in 13th, two spots higher than last year, and five positions higher than in the first World Happiness Report in 2012.