OPINION - Talking Point: What makes other countries so much happier than us?
The United Nations’ annual survey of the world’s happiest countries placed Finland in first place for the sixth year running.
The research considers six key factors that influence people’s happiness: social support, income, health, freedom, generosity and the absence of corruption. As last year, the top three comprises Finland, Denmark and Iceland. The UK dropped two places to 19th.
Standard writer Melanie McDonagh has shared her views on happiness – and cynicism about having a designated day to be cheerful. “I’d say that happiness, insofar it is to be found in this life, is that paradoxical thing, elusive when sought for itself. Aristotle thought it was the fulfilment of the unique human function, the right use of reason – allied to his other priority, moderation in all things. Aquinas thought it was the knowledge of God. Either strikes me as a more useful end than sending out happy emojis or passing UN resolutions. Happy Happiness Day? Not for me, thanks,” she says.
It is perhaps unsurprising that Britons don’t come across as the happiest people around.
What makes other countries so much happier than us? Let us know in the comments or on our Instagram for your chance to be featured on the Evening Standard website.
Last week we asked: Should the Government do more to help pubs?
danielwilliams.music replied on Instagram with an idea: “Pay public service workers more so that they go down the pub after work.”