World's happiest countries 2019: Finland comes top ahead of Nordic neighbours

The UK ranked 15th

Cathy Adams
Wednesday 20 March 2019 16:06 GMT
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Finland has been ranked the happiest country in the world for the second time in a row.

The Nordic nation topped the 2019 World Happiness Report, which ranked 156 countries around the world on factors including life expectancy, freedom, GDP and corruption.

Finland’s Nordic neighbours Denmark, Norway and Iceland weren’t far behind, taking second, third and fourth place respectively. The Nordic countries have dominated the index since its inception in 2012.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden and Austria also appeared in the top 10.

The other two spots in the top 10 happiest countries were filled by New Zealand and Canada, ranking in eighth and ninth place respectively.

At the other end of the spectrum, South Sudan, Central African Republic and Afghanistan came bottom of the ranking.

The UK came 15th and Ireland was 16th, while the US took 19th place.

“The world is a rapidly changing place,” said Professor John Helliwell, co-editor of the report. “How communities interact with each other whether in schools, workplaces, neighbourhoods or on social media has profound effects on world happiness.”

The ranking comes as Finland launches a “rent a Finn” tourism initiative, which encourages tourists to travel to the country to meet eight Finns who will act as “happiness guides”. Applicants have to film a short video explaining why they would like to visit Finland to win a trip.

10 happiest countries in the world

  1. Finland
  2. Denmark
  3. Norway
  4. Iceland
  5. Netherlands
  6. Switzerland
  7. Sweden
  8. New Zealand
  9. Canada
  10. Austria

10 least happy countries

  1. South Sudan
  2. Central African Republic
  3. Afghanistan
  4. Tanzania
  5. Rwanda
  6. Yemen
  7. Malawi
  8. Syria
  9. Botswana
  10. Haiti

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