The UN released a World Happiness Report (WHR) ranking the happiest of countries, in celebration of World Happiness Day on March 20. Norway received the No. 1 spot in the 2017 hierarchy, for being the happiest place on Earth.
As ongoing conflicts present themselves throughout the globe, honoring World Happiness Day on March 20, is a gift from the UN. The day is set as a reminder, to members, about the importance of pursuing happiness when creating policies. The United Nations released the year’s 2017 report on Monday.
World Happiness Report Aims to Make a Happier World
World Happiness Day, formally known as International Day of Happiness, that was founded June 28, 2012. The UN formalized Resolution 66/281 with the approval of all UN member states.
The measure, to name a day to represent happiness, came just less than a year after the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 65/309, on July 19, 2011. It invited the members to create initiatives and develop agendas that would promote social progress. The thought behind the ruling is: “happiness as a universal goal and aspiration embodies the spirit of the Millennium Development Goals.”
In recognizing World Happiness Day, the UN releases a report to promote a drive for countries to encourage contentment, as a way to inspire goals for attaining the well-being of their citizens. The World Happiness Report is meant to encourage nations to create sustainable ways to live, end poverty, and create a joyous environment that fosters the well-being of its citizens.
WHR Has Incited a Race to be Named the Happiest Country
The World Happiness Report illuminates the Earth’s most successful countries. Based on overall caring, rights of freedom, generosity, honesty, overall health, equitable income, and good governing helped the top four winners garner their status. It seems the countries that steer away from the stressors, that all countries endure, allows them to achieve the highest rankings.
Norway gained first place, up from fourth in 2016, for its sustainable and overall happy culture. Notably, Norway is very caring in preparing for future generations. One way they ensure their future is by making investments from oil production proceeds.
Rounding out the top five, in the report, are Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, and Finland. Denmark ranked number one spot in three out of the five years since the resolution. Switzerland dropped to number No. 4 from second place in 2016. Holding steady in fifth place is Finland.
The trend for countries promoting crisp air, beautiful architecture, and lovely greenery continues with Netherlands taking sixth place, followed by Canada. New Zealand stayed steady in eighth place with its neighbor country, Australia, coming in at ninth. Rounding out the top ten countries is Sweden.
Stress took its toll on the U.S., dropping from 13th place, in 2016, to 14th. While Germany stayed in 16th place for another year, other superpower countries moved up the list in their ranking. The U.K. garnered 19th place, up four spots from 2016, while Russia is now at a rank of 49, up seven spots from a year ago.
Evidently, two prominent Asian countries have moved up the ranks on the World Happiness Report. Japan is up two notches in 51st place this year, and China, although viewed as no happier than it was 25 years ago, is now in 79th place, up four spots from 2016.
Official Ranking Is Spearheaded by the UN
In celebration of World Happiness Day, the UN officially classifies countries each year. In keeping with the UN resolution, the results are calculated from several factors, including economy, social well-being, and health. Income, employment, education, a well-adjusted family and social life, good health, and medical services are all important variables.
With unrest and struggles, many poverty-stricken and war-ravaged republics endure, it is obvious why some countries rank lowest on the World Happiness Report. Of all the 155 ranked the unhappiest nation the Central African Republic. At 154 is Burundi, Tanzania at 153, Syria at 152, and Rwanda coming in at a ranking of 151.
Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University’s Earth Institute’s director and co-editor of the World Happiness Report says: “As demonstrated by many countries, this report gives evidence that happiness is a result of creating strong social foundations,” he continues, “It’s time to build social trust and healthy lives, not guns or walls.”
By Carol Ruth Weber
Edited by Cathy Milne and Tracy Blake
Happiness Day: International Day of Happiness
Day of Happiness: International Day of Happiness
Sustainable Development Solutions Network: World Happiness Report 2017
CNN: Where are the world’s happiest countries?
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