Philippines a 'happier' country at 52nd place in the world — UN report

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Philippines a 'happier' country at 52nd place in the world � UN report
People celebrate Christmas day in a park in this December 25, 2019 photo.
The STAR / Edd Gumban, File

MANILA, Philippines — The United Nations’ annual World Happiness Report ranked the Philippines as the 52nd “happiest” country in the world.

The country, with an average score of 6.006, was among the biggest gainers, moving 17 notches from its place last year—at 69th out of the 156 nations ranked.

The Philippines ranked higher than its Southeast Asian peers such as Thailand (54th), Malaysia (82nd), Vietnam (83rd), Indonesia (84th), Laos (104th), Cambodia (106th) and Myanmar (133rd).

The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Networks’ World Happiness Report 2020 ranked 156 countries using the Gallup World Poll and six factors: level of gross domestic product, life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom and absence of corruption.

A Social Weather Stations survey released in June 2019 found 44% of Filipino adults assessing their lives in general as “very happy.” Forty-nine percent said their lives are “fairly happy,” while 8% said they are unhappy.

Nordic countries outrank the rest of the world

Experts at the United Nations declared Finland as the world’s happiest nation for the third year running with an average score of 7.809.

Nordic countries such as Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden also ranked up high on the index.

“Time and time again we see the reasons for wellbeing include good social support networks, social trust, honest governments, safe environments and healthy lives,” Jeffrey Sachs UN SDSN director, said.

Meanwhile, the countries at the bottom of the list are those afflicted by extreme poverty and violence such as Zimbabwe, South Sudan and Afghanistan.

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