World Happiness Report, 2020


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Highlights of the World Happiness Report for 2020

Mains level: Happiness as a measure of progress


The World Happiness Report for 2020 has been recently released.

The World Happiness Report

  • The WHR is an annual publication of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
  • It contains articles and rankings of national happiness based on respondent ratings of their own lives which the report also correlates with various life factors.
  • The 2020 report for the first time ranks cities around the world by their subjective well-being and digs more deeply into how the social, urban and natural environments combine to affect our happiness.

Highlights of the 2020 report

  • Finland has been declared the world’s happiest nation for the third year running.
  • As in each of the previous seven reports, Nordic states dominated the top ten, along with countries such as Switzerland, New Zealand and Austria. Luxembourg also edged into the tenth spot for the first time this year.

Why Finland?

  • People in Finland are said to be shy, away from spontaneous demonstrations of joy, valuing instead the quiet and solitude of the country’s vast forests and thousands of lakes.
  • The northern country’s long dark winters were reputed to be behind high levels of alcoholism and suicide, but a decade-long public health drive has helped cut rates by more than half.
  • Finland’s residents enjoy a high quality of life, security and public services, with rates of inequality and poverty among the lowest of all OECD countries.

India’s dismal performance

  • India was at a 144 rank nestled between Lesotho and Malawi nations.
  • Pakistan, on the other hand, has been ranked 66.

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