Ups and downs: Scandinavian and Asian countries fall and rise in World Happiness Ranking


The annual World Happiness Report was released 20 March 2020. The report revealed an interesting shift in the rankings of the happiness of the countries of the world.

The Scandinavian countries are notoriously known for ranking high in reports of happiness and welfare with Finland ranking first place for the third year in a row and Denmark remains as second place. Likewise, Iceland hasn’t dropped or risen from their fourth place and neither has Sweden as the seventh place in the happiness index.

But interestingly Norway has dropped two spots since 2019 – and are now ranked as the fifth happiest country in the world.

Looking at the Asian countries, there are several drops and rises on the ranking of the happiest countries.

For several years Singapore has been the highest-ranking Asian country in the index – and the tendency continues as Singapore rises three rankings since 2019 to 31th place. The Philippines rises a whooping 17 places on the rankings as the 52th happiest country in the world – taking over Thailand’s spot of 2019. Thailand drops 2 spots to 54th place.

The next Asian country in the happiness ranking is Malaysia who falls two spots since 2019 to 82th place with Vietnam just after as the 83th happiest country in the world – having risen 11 spots since 2019.

Indonesia rises eight spots since 2019 and places 84th on the ranking of the world happiest countries. China drops one spot to 94th place in 2020.

Entering the 100’s of the ranking Laos places 104th – a small improvement of one spot since 2019- with Cambodia following right after on 106th place, having risen three spots.

Myanmar is the lowest ranking Asian country in the World Happiness Report Ranking on 133th place – and has dropped two spots since 2019.

About Sofia Flittner

Journalist • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

View all posts by Sofia Flittner

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