Just five years ago, Norway ranked as the happiest country in the world in an annual report from the United Nations. Now Norway has tumbled to eighth place on the UN’s World Happiness Report, and experts are trying to figure out why.
This year’s recently released report (external link) left Norway with a score of 7,365, well behind Finland, which tops the new list with a score of 7,821. Points are allotted in accordance with participants’ responses to how they assess their quality of life in most countries around the world.
Finland has now held the top spot for five years in a row, with Heikki Hiilamo of the Finnish public health institute noting that many Finns don’t demand too much and are in general quite satisfied with their lives. In Norway, some link Norwegians’ decline on the list to widening social differences. Some young Norwegians have also become more pessimistic about the future, and that’s before war broke out on the European continent.
Norway landed behind Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Sweden, and just ahead of Israel and New Zealand.
The unhappiest country in the world was Afghanistan, followed by Lebanon, Zimbabwe and Rwanda.