As people all over the world remained confined in their homes to avoid getting affected due to coronavirus pandemic, the United Nations on Friday released yearly World Happiness Report in accordance with the UN's annual International Day of Happiness on March 20, 2020.
The report has ranked Finland (7.809) as the happiest country in the world for the third consecutive year, with Denmark coming in second, followed by Switzerland.
The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness that ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. The survey grades countries using the Gallup World Poll and six other factors: levels of GDP, life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom and corruption income.
The theme of this year's report was environments for happiness, with special attention to the social environment, happiness in urban and rural areas, and the natural environment, including links between happiness and sustainable development.
Measuring happiness at times like these might across as strange but the editors have opposing opinions. According to them "The global pandemic poses great risks for some of the main supports for well-being, most especially health and income."
"As revealed by earlier studies of earthquakes, floods, storms, tsunamis and even economic crises, a high trust society quite naturally looks for and finds co-operative ways to work together to repair the damage and rebuild better lives. This has led sometimes to surprising increases in happiness in the wake of what might otherwise seem to be unmitigated disasters," they added.
Why Are People Happier In The Face Of Challenges?
The report opines that "People are pleasantly surprised by the willingness of their neighbours and their institutions to work in harness to help each other. This delivers a heightened sense of belonging, and pride in what they have been able to achieve by way of mitigation. These gains are sometimes great enough to compensate for the material losses."
World's Unhappiest Countries
Apart from the happiest countries, the World Happiness Report also looked at the places where people are the unhappiest. For 2020, Afghanistan was named the unhappiest place in the world, followed by South Sudan and Zimbabwe.
Ranked at 144, India too finds itself in this part of the report. India is a new entrant to the bottom-ten group. India's large and steady decline in life evaluation scores since 2015 has led to an annual score of 3.573 in 2019, lower by 1.2 points than in 2015.
The biggest life evaluation drops were in Venezuela and Afghanistan, down by about 1.8 and 1.5 points respectively. India, with close to a fifth of the global population, saw a 1.2-point decline.
Also Read: Internet Blockade Fallout: Kashmiri Journalists Innovatively Switching To Other Jobs