Here’s a question to think about: What makes you happy? Perhaps it’s spending time with loved ones or maybe it’s going on vacation. There are many factors that determine a person’s happiness. Now, what would you say if we asked you how to determine the happiness of an entire country? Well, if an answer doesn’t immediately come to mind, don’t worry, because the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), an initiative of the United Nations, has you covered. Since 2012, the SDSN has produced an annual report called the World Happiness Report. The report is a summary of an annual survey that is conducted by the Gallup World Poll in which thousands of people from over 150 countries are asked how happy they perceive themselves to be. But what makes them the happiest, you might be wondering? According to the SDSN, happiness can be determined based on six factors: income (that’s how much money you make), freedom, life expectancy (or how long you expect to live), generosity, social support (or how well you feel supported by loved ones), and how much you trust or believe in the government.
Can you guess which country ranked first in this report? It’s Finland! For the fourth year in a row, Finland has been ranked the happiest country in the world. Woo hoo! With 90 percent of the country covered in either forest or water, the Finnish (according to the Finland Convention Bureau) attribute their happiness to simple things in life that come from a connection to the outdoors. We don’t know about you, but we’re about to get our happy on by taking a walk in the park!