Often dubbed the ‘world’s happiest country’, Denmark was in fact most recently named in first place on the world happiness list in 2016, and was also top of the ranking in 2013.
Nordic neighbour Finland is in first place and the happiest country in the world by measure of the report, for the second year in a row.
Norway, Iceland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Canada and Austria form the rest of the 2019 top ten, while the United States ranked 19th, dropping one spot from last year. The United Kingdom is 15th, up four spots from 19th in 2018.
— Happiness Report (@HappinessRpt) March 20, 2019
The 2019 edition of the World Happiness Report, released annually since 2012 by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), was released on Wednesday. Nordic and European countries generally dominate the top end of the ranking.
A survey that ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be, the 136-page report uses measures for factors like levels of caring, freedom to make life decisions, social support, generosity, good governance, honesty, health and income.
This year’s report focuses on happiness and the community, taking in a focus on technology, social norms, conflicts and government policies that have driven changes in those areas.
Special chapters focus on generosity and social behaviour, the effects of happiness on voting behaviour, big data, and the happiness effects of internet use and addictions.
Globally, happiness has fallen in recent years, driven by a sustained downward trend in India, according to the press release published on the World Happiness Report website with the release of the report.
There has been a widespread recent upward trend in worry, sadness and anger, especially marked in Asia and Africa, and more recently elsewhere, the press release notes.
“The world is a rapidly changing place,” Professor John Helliwell, co-editor of the report, said in the press release.
“How communities interact with each other whether in schools, workplaces, neighbourhoods or on social media has profound effects on world happiness,” Helliwell added.