A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Persian Gulf, Iran, July 25, 2005.
(photo credit: RAHEB HOMAVANDI/REUTERS)
Down in the dumps? Not as much as Iran, according to the 2019 World Happiness Report.
The report was conducted by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network in conjunction with the Ernesto Illy Foundation. The report uses data from the Gallup polling company to track how citizens of different nations see their own level of happiness. The data were based on surveys that asked respondents to rate their level of life satisfaction on a scale of one to 10.
Iran dropped down eleven spots in the world happiness index from the previous year. Middle Eastern and Sub-Saharan African countries make up the majority of nations located at the lower-end of the list, with South Sudan bringing up the rear led closely by Afghanistan at 154th, Yemen at 151th and Syria at 149th.
The happiest country on the list is Finland, with Norway and Sweden also making the top 10.
In fact, more than half of the top 20 happiest countries in the world are located in Europe - including Finland in the No. 1 spot, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Ireland, Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic. France, Italy and Poland were just outside the top 20 list.
The report also tracked the changes in the level of happiness for 132 countries over the past decade. Israel’s happiness increased by .05 points on a scale of 0-10. Venezuela’s happiness level dropped by almost two points, only slightly more than Syria.
The theme of the report this year was migration and its effect on world happiness. Specific chapters also analyzed the effect of happiness on citizens’ voting patterns, and the adverse effects of technology and digital media on happiness in the US, as well as the relationship between happiness levels and substance addiction in American society.
The first World Happiness Report was published in 2012.
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