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This Week in Freudenfreude: Don't Worry, Be Happy

Most every year for the last decade, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network has released a World Happiness Report. This is an examination of how happy people in various nations report they are, across various dimensions. The actual data collection is done by Gallup.

The newest report was released this week. This would seem to be tailor-made for this particular feature, so let's run down the list of the 20 happiest nations for 2023:

  1. Finland
  2. Denmark
  3. Iceland
  4. Israel
  5. Netherlands
  6. Sweden
  7. Norway
  8. Switzerland
  9. Luxembourg
  10. New Zealand
  11. Austria
  12. Australia
  13. Canada
  14. Ireland
  15. United States
  16. Germany
  17. Belgium
  18. Czech Republic
  19. United Kingdom
  20. Lithuania

Finland comes out on top pretty much every year; this is six in a row for them. Must be the sautéed reindeer (poronkaristys). And you wondered why you didn't see Rudolph's red nose this year. Lithuania is the only new entry compared to last year's list; they knocked France down to #21. Meanwhile, we can't be the only ones who suspect infiltration of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network by agents from the Great White North.

The main finding is that despite the challenges of the past few years (e.g., COVID, Ukraine), world happiness is steady. It would seem that humans are a resilient bunch. It does help to be in a nation with a stable government, of course. The countries at the end of the list, which ends at #137 Afghanistan, don't have that.

The report was actually released on Monday, which happens to be World Happiness Day. We did not know, and we suspect that most readers did not know, either. Hopefully, however, you can celebrate it over the weekend. Have a good one, all. (Z)

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