Denmark, Finland and Norway top UN’s World Happiness Report

Posted on March 24, 2014 10:17 am

They say loneliness has the same effect on life expectancy as puffing 15 coffin nails a day. That is why I was keen on March 20 as an International Day of Happiness. For the first time, United Nations has released its first World Happiness Report with Scandinavian countries ranking as the happiest in the world. The report is a clear demonstration by the United Nation to recognize the pursuit of happiness as a fundamental human target. When I was going through the report, it is clear the UN indicators give an insight into the general mood in different parts of the world. Readers of the report will be eager to check where they stand in the happiness rankings and that would depend with where they live. According to the report, the Denmark top the list, followed by Finland (home of Somocon Oy- my employer) and Norway, and then the Netherlands while the saddest country in the world is Togo. However, the rankings are not considered scientific although they give a rough comparison in the level of contentment across the world. The results are based a life evaluation score that includes a variety of factors, including health, family, political freedom, job security, and government corruption.

Few would disagree that there are universal benchmarks of happiness and the report suggests that happiness doesn’t always mirror GPD. The state of the economy does seem to affect the mood in Europe, where countries badly hit by the euro crisis score lower in the rankings. Job cuts and lower wages seem to be major factors in deepening the gloom. “Happiness may have different meanings for different people. But we can all agree that it means working to end conflict, poverty and other unfortunate conditions in which so many of our fellow human beings live,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commented on World Happiness Day. UN’s embracing of happiness as a serious issue to be measured every year means there will never be shortage of data on international wellbeing. The data are the focus of growing debate, which could eventually lead to more measures to prevent problems like famine and rights abuses. Knowledge is power, and now that we are in the know, it’s time to take action to secure our right to happiness. That’s why a jobless outbacker in Tasmania can be more satisfied with life than a lonely chief executive in Collins Street Melbourne.

Contador Harrison