Mäntsälä
- The Crossroads of Southern Finland

Finland is the world's happiest country in 2019

Finland has a lot to celebrate.

Not only does it have a capital city bursting with gastronomic creativity, the spectacular Northern Lights and Santa Claus's year-round home (plus the reindeer support staff) in Lapland. It's also the happiest country in the world for the second year in a row, according to the latest World Happiness Report.

The World Happiness Report was released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations on March 20, the date that the United Nations has declared to be the International Day of Happiness.

The report ranks countries on six key variables that support well-being: income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity.

"The top 10 countries tend to rank high in all six variables, as well as emotional measures of well-being," says report co-editor John Helliwell, a professor emeritus of economics at the University of British Columbia.

And that's not just about the native-born residents of those countries.

"It's true that last year all Finns were happier than rest of the countries' residents, but their immigrants were also happiest immigrants in the world," says Helliwell. "It's not about Finnish DNA. It's the way life is lived in those countries."

They pay high taxes for a social safety net, they trust their government, they live in freedom and they are generous with each other. "They do care about each other," he says. "That's the kind of place people want to live."

It began with Bhutan

The prime minister of the tiny country of Bhutan proposed a World Happiness Day to the United Nations in 2011, which brought international attention to happiness as a metric. Bhutan came in 95th place (up two spots from last year) in this year's report.

In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly declared March 20 as World Happiness Day, recognizing "the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives."

This report is the seventh to come out since 2012. The rankings of the world's happiest countries came from an analysis of data from surveys in 156 countries, including the Gallup World Poll starting in 2005-2006.

World's happiest countries

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

By Katia Hetter, CNN
Full article: This is the world's happiest country in 2019 at CNN.com