It’s a day to be happy, of course! And it falls on 20 March this year.
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 the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which seek to end poverty, reduce inequality, and protect our planet – three key aspects that lead to well-being and happiness.
The United Nations invites each person of any age, plus every classroom, business and government to join in celebration of the International Day of Happiness.
The General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 66/281 of 12 July 2012 proclaimed 20 March the International Day of Happiness, recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives. It also recognized the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all peoples.
The resolution was initiated by Bhutan, a country that recognised the value of national happiness over national income since the early 1970s and famously adopted the goal of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product. It also hosted a High-Level Meeting on “Happiness and Well-Being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm” during the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly.
Happiness Headlines For 2020
The World Happiness Report ranks countries by their happiness levels. The 2020 report included a special focus on the environment – social, urban, and natural.
* Finland tops the happiness rankings for the third year in a row
* Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland & Norway complete the top 5
* Cities are ranked for the first time; the happiest city in the world is Helsinki
“The World Happiness Report has proven to be an indispensable tool for policymakers looking to better understand what makes people happy. Time and again we see the reasons for wellbeing include good social support networks, social trust, honest governments, safe environments, and healthy lives.”Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, World Happiness Report
Four of the six factors used by the report to explain a country’s happiness are different aspects of the social environment. They include having someone to count on, having a sense of freedom to make key life decisions, generosity, and trust.
The report also looks at how inequality plays in a person’s happiness and how good social environments can help to mitigate the effects of inequality.
The report is edited by Professor John F. Helliwell of the University of British Columbia; Professor Richard Layard, co-director of the Well-Being Programme at LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance; Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of SDSN and the Earth Institute’s Center on Sustainable Development; Professor Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, Director of the Wellbeing Research Centre at the University of Oxford.