The annual survey of 156 countries, conducted by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network in partnership with the Ernesto Illy Foundation, shows that Serbia ranks 70th in the World Happiness Report 2019.
Last year, Serbia ranked 78th. Of the former Yugoslav republics, peaceful and relatively wealthy Slovenia came first, taking 44th place in the rankings.
Kosovo made a surprisingly good showing at 46th place, reflecting the fact that perceptions of contentment count for more in this survey that money alone. Economically fast-progressing Romania comes in at 48th place.
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The other Balkan states mostly come in the 70s band. Serbia ranks first in this group, in 70thplace, followed by Montenegro, in 73rd place, and Croatia, in 75th. Bosnia and Herzegovina comes next at 78 and North Macedonia follows after that, at 84.
Bulgaria, however, is much further down at a 97th place and Albania, embarrassingly, ranks in lowly 107th place, only just above economically wrecked Venezuela and Palestine – a reflection, perhaps of its unusually bitter and polarized politics.
Scandinavian countries – Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland – all known for their high standard of living and good work-life balance – occupy the first four spots. The Netherlands came next, surpassing Switzerland.
The survey analyzes a wide range of factors, apart from wealth – from an interest in elections to pro-social behaviours, such as generosity and treatment of migrants, media freedom and even rates of digital technology use.
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