International Day of Happiness 2017 Observed on March 20, 2017

The International Day of Happiness is celebrated worldwide on March 20 since 2013 to educate and increase public awareness of the benefits of happiness.The day was celebrated for the first time in 2013.

  • The International Day of Happiness (“Happiness Day”) was founded by United Nations adviser Jayme Illien on June 28, 2012, when all 193 member states of the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted UN resolution 66/281.
  • This year the United Nation is using the Smurfs through “Small Smurfs Big Goals” campaign to promote its 17 sustainable development goals on the International Day of Happiness.

History of International Happiness Day

In 2011, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which recognized happiness as a “fundamental human goal.”

  • In 2012, in the first ever UN Conference on Happiness, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that the International Day of Happiness would be celebrated on March 20 every year.
  • The day is coordinated by Action for Happiness, a non-profit movement of people from 160 countries to create a happier world together.
  • The day is celebrated through seminars and educational tips and tools to end poverty, reduce inequality, and protect our planet that lead to well-being and happiness.
  • Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated the International Day of Happiness as a way to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world.
  • In 2015 the UN launched 17 Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty and spread happiness.

2017 World Happiness Report

According to the 2017 World Happiness Report, released on March 20, 2017 by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Norway has been ranked as the most happiest country of the world among 155 nations. India was placed at 122nd position in the World Happiness Report.

  • Sustainable Development Solutions Network is an international panel of social scientists formed by the United Nations.
  • Norway surpassed Denmark to achieve the top most spot with a score of 7.53 out of 10. In 2016, Norway was placed at 4th position.
  • The Central African Republic was the least happy of 155 countries according to the report.

Top 10 Happiest Country

Rank Country Score (10)
1 Norway 7.53
2 Denmark 7.52
3 Iceland 7.50
4 Switzerland 7.49
5 Finland 7.46
6 Netherlands 7.37
7 Canada 7.31
8 New Zealand 7.31
9 Australia 7.28
10 Sweden 7.28

Key Feature of the Report

The fifth edition of the annual report analysed data gathered from surveys of thousands of people in 155 countries. Participants were asked to simply grade their lives on a scale of zero to 10.

  • The ranking combines economic, health and polling data from approximately 3,000 respondents in each of 155 countries.
  • Australia was listed as the 9th happiest country in the world, the United States came 14th in the list, while Britain came in at number 19.
  • Countries in sub-Saharan Africa, along with Syria and Yemen were ranked as the saddest countries out of 155 named in the report.
  • Among the countries that slipped the most over the past decade were Venezuela and the Central African Republic but Nicaragua and Latvia have got significantly happier since 2012.
  • The ten bottom spots were taken by some of the world’s poorest countries with happiness levels averaging approximately 3 out of 10. These included Yemen, South Sudan, Liberia, Guinea, Togo, Rwanda, Syria, Tanzania, Burundi and Central African Republic.

About World Happiness Report

The annual report was prepared by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and then edited by Dr. Helliwell; Jeffrey D. Sachs, a Columbia University economist; and Richard Layard, of the London School of Economics.

  • The rankings are based on income and life expectancy figures, along with how people rate social support, personal freedom, corruption and generosity.
  • In 2016, Denmark was ranked as the Happiest Country of the World