People in Ireland are happier than those in Germany, the US, France, and Spain according to the 2019 World Happiness Report.
The recently released global study puts Ireland in 16th place out of 156 countries.
However, that’s a two-place drop on last year and also means that the United Kingdom, in 15th place, has overtaken Ireland despite the ongoing Brexit crisis.
The US also lags behind the UK and is the unhappiest it’s ever been, dropping to 19th place, its worst ever ranking (it was number 18 in 2018 and 14 in 2017).
Meanwhile, Finland remains the happiest country on earth for the second year in the row. The ''land of a thousand lakes,'' is home to the recent basic income experiment and has shown steady upward progress over the past few years, the researchers found.
The report, which is now in its seventh year, placed five Nordic countries in the top 10, with the Netherlands (5), Switzerland (6), New Zealand (7), Canada (9), and Austria (10) filling out the other top spots.
Researchers with the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network compile the happiness report based on global data from Gallup and ranks countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be, according to evaluations of their own lives.
Countries’ happiness scores are determined by six main variables on a three-year average:
- GDP per capita
- Healthy life expectancy at birth
- Social support from friends and family
- Freedom to make life choices
- Generosity in the form of donations to charity
- Perceptions of government corruption
Report co-author, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, focused on the epidemic of addictions and unhappiness in America, a rich country yet one where happiness has been declining rather than rising.
“This year’s report provides sobering evidence of how addictions are causing considerable unhappiness and depression in the US,” Sachs said.
“Addictions come in many forms, from substance abuse to gambling to digital media. The compulsive pursuit of substance abuse and addictive behaviors is causing severe unhappiness. Government, business, and communities should use these indicators to set new policies aimed at overcoming these sources of unhappiness.”
How do you feel about the World Happiness Report? Do you think Irish people are happy in general? Let us know in the comment section below.