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World Happiness Report 2020 and what you can learn from it!

World Happiness Report 2020 and what you can learn from it!

The World Happiness Report 2

Happiness is what we crave, but did you know that some countries are naturally happier than others? The World Happiness Report is a global survey amongst 156 countries that has been done every year since 2012. It shows how happy citizens perceive themselves to be and what makes them happy.

Governments can see what to do to promote the well-being of their citizens. The World Happiness Report analyzes everything from citizens’ lifestyle, society, and more. It uncovers what kind of elements bring more happiness and joy in some countries than others.

So what are the happiest countries in the world, and what are the factors for ranking?

What are the rankings used in the World Happiness Report?

The data which is used for the World Happiness Report is based on the Gallup World Poll. As an independent company, Gallup helps leaders and organizations to insights with global analytics and advises them. In the Gallup Poll, they use the answers to the main life evaluation question, called the Cantril ladder.

The World Happiness Report
is an indispensable tool for governments and global institutions who want to understand better what makes people happy.

Jeffrey Sachs

The Cantril ladder asks respondents to rate their lives on a scale from 0 to 10. The best possible life for them from being a 10, to the worst possible life being a 0. The rankings are from representative samples for the years 2016-2018 from each participating nation. The following six factors are taken into account:

1) Levels of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

The Purchasing Power per head.

2) Life expectancy

Based on data from the World Health Organization.

3) Generosity

How many people spent on charities.

4) Social support

If people can depend on others when in need.

5) Freedom

If people believe that they can make their own life choices.

6) Corruption

The belief of people how wide-spread corruption in businesses and government is.

These six factors decide the Gallup Poll weights. The rankings are from nationally representative samples for the years 2016-2018. They are based entirely on the survey scores, using the Gallup weights to make the estimates representative. And two other factors are taken into the results. The positive change (measured in happiness, laughter, and enjoyment) and negative change (measured in worry, sadness, and anger).

These figures are then compared to Dystopia as a benchmark. Dystopia is a made-up country with the world`s lowest national averages for each of these six weights.

The World happiness report shows us the happiest countries and what makes these countries a happiness icon.

The 10 Happiest Countries in the World in 2020.

The endless lakes of Finland - happiest country in the world
@Ekaterina Kondratova/
  1. Finland
  2. Denmark
  3. Switzerland
  4. Iceland
  5. Norway
  6. The Netherlands
  7. Sweden
  8. New Zealand
  9. Luxembourg
  10. Austria

Finland is the happiest country for already 3 years in a row. The first World Happiness Report was published in 2012. Since then, 4 nations have been at the top of the ranking. These countries are Denmark (2012, 2013, and 2016), Switzerland (2015), Norway (2017), and Finland (2018, 2019, and 2020).

Finland has consolidated its number one position with the steady growth of its average scores. And is now in a clear lead over Denmark, which occupies second place. Among the top 10 countries are Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Holland, Sweden, New Zealand, and the two newcomers: Luxembourg and Austria.

Why are these countries the happiest in the World?

Great Relationships - World Happiness Report 2020 /

The main reasons for well-being and therefore Happiness from the report are the following:

1) A focus on interpersonal relationships.

Fundamental factors for Happiness are interpersonal relationships and having only one goal: the common good. In a city like Helsinki, one of the happiest cities in the world, people live well. So the Fins can teach us a lot about Happiness.

2) A sense of belonging.

Happy countries need to feel the support of authorities but also a strong sense of community. They love being part of it, feeling supported when needed and part of something bigger. They love to share their opinions and have guidance from authorities who listen to their needs and vision of life.

3) A natural beautiful Nature.

People enjoying nature and being happy
@kovop58 /

Nature is definitely an important element that makes these countries happy. Probably no surprise, but less urban areas and more green areas are the features of happy countries.

Happy people spend a lot of time outside, especially if in the good company of a friend. Boosting their social connection and their link with nature is one easy healthy habit.

One of the secrets of the Finns is the special relationship they have with nature. Forrest makes up 70% of Finland`s territory. Travelers fall in love with the clean air, serenity, and silence that characterizes the entire country.

It allows you to achieve a very high degree of harmony with yourself and with the surrounding world.

4) A balanced urban reality.

The Report assesses how happy the urban population is compared to the non-urban population within the same country. More people choose to go away from the city in a country that is over-urbanized. Rural areas are preferred to buy a home and spend more time.

The best thing for a country to be a happy urban reality is to be balanced. To be urbanized but also rich with natural green areas for their people, like garden facilities, parks, nature areas.

5) A great government.

Honest governments largely contribute to being a Happy Country. They play a fundamental role in the nation`s Happiness. In northern European countries like Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland, the inhabitants as well as the immigrants are happier.

The secret of Nordic Happiness and what you can learn.

Happy Nordic people

It seems that mostly the Nordic European Countries are the happiest. There are a lot of things we can learn from them. Make your world happier even when you do not live in one of those countries with these tips.

  1. Create and maintain better relationships with friends and family.
    Spend time to enjoy the little things in life. Pay more attention to friends and family, socialize, have a drink, spend more time with the people you love.
  2. Spend more time outside.
    Take a walk in the park with a friend, go running or have a meal outside. Spending more outdoors, preferably in nature, will help you be happier.
  3. Change to a healthier diet.
    Make sure that you nourish your body with good food. Studies have proven that good food provides a good mood, so why not change to a more healthy diet. It gives you also more energy.
  4. Do more physical activities.
    Being active is the key to being happier. Why not start on a new hobby or sport?
    Moving your body will get the energy flowing.
  5. Do a good deed.
    Why not help somebody out? Maybe you have a next-door-neighbor who needs help in doing groceries? Maybe you can spend some money on a good cause? Studies have shown that humans thrive on good deeds. When people receive generosity and compassion, there is a positive effect on their health and well-being. This is not only true for the receiver but also for the giver.

Conclusion of The World Happiness Report.

The happiest countries of the world have a strong focus on connections. A connection with nature, with other people, even with institutions.

We should focus on the connections between people, nature, and a sense of belonging for true happiness. One made up of true contact and true presence.

If you want to learn more, read the full World happiness report here!

Like to read more about Happiness, read these articles:
This Happiness Study shows the secret to being happy.
25 Affirmations for Self-Love to make your life happier.