On 20th March, the world will celebrate the International Day of Happiness. It’s been happening since 2013 and all 193 United Nations member states are involved in some way.
Lots of reports on happiness
Recently too, the annual World Happiness Report was published. It ranks countries of the world in a league table (covering the period 2015-2017), based on a number of criteria: National wealth (Gross Domestic Product); Healthy life expectancy; Freedom; Generosity; Corruption; and Social support.
This year top of the class was Finland, followed closely by Norway and Denmark (both of which have topped the chart over recent years). Scandinavian countries always seem to come out best.
So how’s Britain doing?
The UK was down in 19th place, just behind the USA. Not so impressive, maybe. But you have to put it in context – the whole table comprises 156 nations, so maybe we’re not doing so badly.
In fact, according to yet another report, this time from the UK Office for National Statistics, last year saw a small increase in overall wellbeing, especially in England. But there are marked differences across the generations.
Levels of life satisfaction among the over-65s have been increasingly significantly, whilst younger adults have struggled more. In fact, the least satisfied age group is currently between 50 and 54 years.
How are you doing?
The trouble with all these surveys is that they look at whole populations. Helpful, to show us what the trends are, but not very personal.
So what about your wellbeing? Well, that’s a cue to mention my new book, “Lasting Happiness”, which delves more deeply than many of the “How to be happy” lists we see a lot of these days.
Let me know what you think after you’ve read it…