The happiest cities in the world. Denmark support parents – families receive 52 weeks of parental leave. Krekel, C., Ward, G., and De Neve, J.-E. (2018) "Work and Well-being: A Global Perspective," in: Sachs, J. Denmark. In fact, places two, three, and five in terms of future life evaluation are populated by San Miguelito (Panama), San Jose (Costa Rica), and Panama City (Panama), whereas places four and ten are populated by Accra (Ghana) and Freetown (Sierra Leone). Lifehack goes on to provide us with four more of the happiest cities in the world as revealed in the World Happiness Report. - A plethora of outdoor activities and a perpetual carnival like atmosphere make it one of the happiest cities in the world. (2015) "Environmental influence in the brain, human welfare and mental health," Nature: Neuroscience, 18, 1421-1431. The World Bank (2020) World Bank Country and Lending Groups, Online: http://datahelpdesk.worldbank.org/knowledgebase/articles/906519-world-bank-country-and-lending-groups, last accessed 13/01/2020. (2017) "In search of features that constitute an 'enriched environment' in humans: Associations between geographical properties and brain structure," Nature: Scientific Reports, 7(11920), 1-8. The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness. The use of the Gallup World Poll and the Gallup US Poll is generously granted by Gallup, Inc. We received very helpful comments and suggestions from Lara Aknin, John Helliwell, and Richard Layard. One of the largest cities to make the cut, Vienesse citizens can take advantage of one of the world's most beautiful cities. (2019) World Happiness Report, New York: UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. To answer this question, in Figure 3.2 we calculate the change in life evaluation for each city against its average life evaluation in the period 2005 to 2013. On a global scale, has happiness in cities increased or decreased? The survey is nationally representative of the resident population aged 15 and above in each country. Other cities in or at the fringes of the European Union that have made substantial progress (of 0.5 or more points on the zero-to-ten life evaluation scale) are Riga (Latvia), ranked 13, Belgrade (Serbia), ranked 17, Bucharest (Romania), ranked 22, and Budapest (Hungary), ranked 23. The ranking of cities’ happiness does not produce radically different results than the existing country happiness ranking. [6] Rapid urbanisation also puts pressure on public open spaces such as parks and urban green areas, which provide space for social interaction and important ecosystem services.[7][8]. It presents our global ranking of cities according to how positively their inhabitants evaluate their expected future lives, as raw means. Figure 3.6 sheds light on this question by plotting the standard deviation of city happiness relative to the standard deviation of country happiness, both measured in terms of current life evaluation. The winning locations end up being quite obvious candidates; entertainment and cultural heavyweights, beautiful … For the first time, The World Happiness Report 2020 ranks the happiest cities around the world base on their subjective well being, social life, urban and natural environment The report shows the top ten cities are dominated by Scandinavian countries and only two United States cities made it into the top 10. Krekel, C., and Kolbe, J. About 4.2 billion people, more than half of the world's population (55.3 per cent), are living in urban areas today. ↩︎, See, for example Stutzer and Frey (2008), Dickerson et al. ↩︎. [25] Figures 3.4 and 3.5 illustrate these different slopes at different levels of economic development: for low-income city-country pairs we can confidently reject the hypothesis that the line of best fit shown in Figure 3.4 is the same as the 45-degree line (F-test = 35.72). Out of the 12 US cities that are included in the 2014-2018 World Poll, seven are also in the top ten list of cities that we obtain from the US Poll. ↩︎, We investigated whether there are systematic differences in responses to the Gallup World Poll and the Gallup US Poll surveying of the Cantril ladder. (2018), Krekel et al. They are predominantly in Africa, Eastern Europe, or Central Asia. The effect of urban land use on residential well-being," Ecological Economics, 121, 117-127. Even when doing a univariate regression of current life evaluation scores on expected life evaluation only, we find that it is not significant. 1. For positive affect, we include whether respondents experienced enjoyment and whether they smiled or laughed a lot. By 2045, this figure is estimated to increase by 1.5 times, to more than six billion. If we were to exclude Maseru (Lesotho), Maracaibo and Caracas (both Venezuela), Sanaa (Yemen), Kabul (Afghanistan), and Gaza (Palestine) – cities which have been facing exceptional challenges – from our global ranking, we could say that happiness in cities worldwide has increased in recent years. In fact, employing well-being surveys allows to figure out the relative importance of different domains in shaping well-being, thus providing evidence-based guidance for policymakers on how to optimize the well-being of their populations. Finland came in first in the World Happiness Report from Gallup for the third year running. Cities are economic powerhouses: more than 80 per cent of worldwide GDP is generated within their boundaries. The United Nations has released its annual World Happiness Report on March 20, the UN's International Day of Happiness, revealing the happiest and least happy countries in the world. In general, cities in Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand tend to score high when it comes to the subjective well-being of their residents. 1. Once again, Scandinavia dominated … Bertram, C., Goebel, J., Krekel, C., and Rehdanz, K. (2020) "Urban Land Use Fragmentation and Human Wellbeing," Kiel Working Papers, 2147. The world’s top five happiest countries, all of which fall in northern Europe, have cities that delight residents with old town charm, cultural offerings and easy access to nature. The report indicates that the happiest cities are generally to be found in the happiest countries. The same is not the case for the line of best fit in Figure 3.5, which relates to high-income city-country pairs. In a new ranking of the "happiest cities in America," Men's Health magazine named Raleigh as the third happiest city in the nation. With a score of 7.324, only 0.04 behind Canada, New Zealand is the eigth happiest country in the world. One might criticise our ranking for relying only on subjective indicators. Finland ranks as the world's happiest country based on the 2020 report. Furthermore, it seeks … In sum, there have been winners and losers in terms of changes in cities' happiness over the past decade. In this multivariate regression, we find that life evaluation scores pre-2014 are highly significant, while expected future life evaluation scores pre-2014 are not significant. Madison, WI. The Anholt-GfK Roper City Brands Index is based on perception–that is, the world’s population perceives Rio as the happiest city. Ranked as the ninth happiest country in the world, Sweden is the lowest-ranked Nordic country by the World Happiness Report. Thus, more than half of the top ten cities worldwide according to how positively their inhabitants currently evaluate their lives are located in Scandinavia. Resolving the urban paradox: subjective well-being, education and the big city. Luxembourg . With an average life satisfaction score of 7.69 out of 10. Top 15 of the Happiest Places to Live in the World. (2007) "Calculating Tragedy: Assessing the Costs of Terrorism," Journal of Economic Surveys, 21(1), 1-24. The standard deviation is a measure of how dispersed a set of numbers is and can hence serve as a simple measure of inequality in this case. The importance of cities for global development has long been recognised in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities, which includes targets with clear relevance for citizens' life satisfaction, such as strengthening public transport systems to reduce congestion and commuting times,[10] reducing ambient air pollution,[11] and improving access to green and public open spaces[12] for all citizens. Methodology. As is the case for the ranking of countries in this World Happiness Report, our ranking of cities' happiness around the world relies on the Gallup World Poll, an annual survey that started in 2005 and that is conducted in more than 160 countries covering 99 per cent of the world's population. Buenos Aires .. Happiness is a fleeting commodity in reality, it comes and goes, but the perception of happiness is the real bottom-line driver for cities and their branding. The residents of … Click to find out more. Kilroy, A. F. L., Mukim, M. and Negri, S. (2015) "Competitive cities for jobs and growth: what, who, and how," in: Competitive cities for jobs and growth, Washington, DC: World Bank Group. This observation appears to corroborate Morrison’s model, which suggests such a skewed relationship for reasons that are considered in more detail in chapter 4 of this report.[24]. A recent survey shows 92% of people enjoy living there and most say it’s easy to make friends. Melbourne Docklands. Rapid urbanisation, however, also imposes challenges: a lack of affordable housing results in nearly one billion urban poor living in informal settlements at the urban periphery, vulnerable and often exposed to criminal activity. As the main tourist resort and attraction of Brazil, it’s no wonder it is seen as a happy place to... 2. The survey asked 15,000 people in 32 cities … The World Happiness Report is an annual publication of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. As Figure 3.3 suggests, residents of cities are somewhat happier than the mean happiness of their respective country populations suggests. Without further ado, here are the top 15 happiest places to live in the world, in no particular order. (2020). Bertram, C., and Rehdanz, K. (2015) "The role of urban green space for human well-being," Ecological Economics, 120, 139-152. It ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. We're lucky." It's such an elusive concept as it can mean different things for different people, so I accept that this list might bring up some contestations. As Australia’s most populous city, Sydney proves that old saying is as... 3. Note that since the Gallup World Poll is nationally representative, it is unlikely that self-selection of survey respondents who are exceptionally happy are driving our results. Polling people all over the nation, the research revealed that residents in Bristol are the happiest in the UK, while those in other cities maybe in need of a pick-me-up. A Fixed-Effects Analysis of Panel Data," Psychological Science, 24(6), 920-928. Sanaa in Yemen, another war-torn city, is ranked sixth, whereas Beirut in Lebanon (bordering Syria) is ranked fourth from the bottom. Stockholm (Sweden) comes out ninth. We restrict our analysis to the period 2014 to 2018 and in order to reduce statistical noise, to cities with at least 300 observations recorded during this five-year span. Top 10 Happiest Cities in the World 1. The residents experience a healthy life expectancy, welfare support, and the freedom to make personal choices without much interference. Then, we analyse whether and how cities' happiness has changed during the past decade, whether there exist significant differences between cities and their countries, and whether there are substantial happiness inequalities within cities relative to countries. Figure 3.1 shows the complete list of cities according to how positively their inhabitants currently evaluate their lives on average. Travel Destinations. Our ranking is fundamentally different from existing rankings of cities in terms of quality of life, such as The Economist's Global Liveability Index, which ranks cities according to a summary score constructed from qualitative and quantitative indicators across five broad domains. Our ranking of cities' happiness does not yield fundamentally different results than existing rankings: Scandinavian cities and cities in Australia and New Zealand score high when it comes to the subjective well-being of their residents; cities in countries with histories of political instability, (civil) war, armed conflict, and recent incidences of terrorism score low. [15] It included at least 500 observations per day and, importantly, asked respondents a similar set of questions as does the Gallup World Poll. Lifehack goes on to provide us with four more of the happiest cities in the world as revealed in the World Happiness Report. However, this is somewhat less the case for countries at lower levels. (2007, 2009), van Praag et al. Allowing for an efficient division of labour, cities bring with them agglomeration and productivity benefits, inspiring new ideas and innovations, and the generation of higher incomes and living standards. 6 Comments. Lincoln did rank ... 2. Delusional Bubble Top Ranking. Arguably, this bottom-up approach gives a direct voice to the population as opposed to the more top-down approach of deciding ex-ante what ought to matter for the well-being of city residents. (2010) "Happiness and financial satisfaction in Israel: Effects of religiosity, ethnicity, and war," Journal of Economic Psychology, 31(6), 1008-1020. Here, we cannot statistically distinguish it from the 45-degree line (F-test = 3.59). High-income countries are considered those with a GNI per capita of $12,376 or more (World Bank, 2020). Well, the Richmond-Petersburg metropolitan area in Virginia ranked as the happiest in the country with over 1 million residents, and many of the most joyful cities appear to … Rio de Janeiro. The happiest cities in the world have been ranked alongside the happiest countries. The city with the largest positive change is Abidjan (Ivory Coast). http://data.worldbank.org/topic/urban-development, http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/urbandevelopment/overview, http://datahelpdesk.worldbank.org/knowledgebase/articles/906519-world-bank-country-and-lending-groups, http://www.eiu.com/topic/liveability?zid=liveability2019&utm_source=economist-daily-chart&utm_medium=link&utm_name=liveability2019, http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/cities/. As half of the world's population is living in cities today, and since this number is expected to rise to two third by the middle of the century, studying how city dwellers fare on balance when it comes to their quality of life is an important undertaking. according to a survey from Time Out and Tapestry Research. "It is extremely ambitious to be one of the five happiest countries by 2021," Wiking said, commenting on the UAE's desire to become one of the happiest nations in the world. Zhang, X., Zhang, X., and Chen, X. Cities may be defined as the cities proper, the extent of their urban area, or their metropolitan regions. In doing so, it emancipates respondents to consider and weigh for themselves which factors – observable or unobservable to researchers – they feel matter most to them. They are thus less prone to social narratives, comparisons, or issues of adaptation and anticipation. Although the top ten according to how cities' inhabitants evaluate their expected future lives feature familiar faces such as Aarhus (Denmark), Copenhagen (Denmark), and Helsinki (Finland), which rank sixth, seventh, and eighth, and which also feature in the top ten of current life evaluation (ranking second, fifth, and first, respectively), it is fascinating to see that the top ten in terms of optimistic outlook also includes new cities. United Nations (2019), Cities – United Nations Sustainable Development Action 2015, Online: http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/cities/, last accessed 12/12/2019. Is there predictive power from these self-predicted future scores? As one would expect, Finland – the world’s happiest country – is also home to the world’s happiest city: Helsinki. It is one of the most transparent countries with low corruption rates. (2017). 1. - Ipanema Beach is a popular tourist spot not just for the clean sand and water but also because of the various cultures one can observe on the beach. Frey, B. S., Luechinger, S., and Stutzer, A. Some cities have experienced significant positive changes in their citizens' happiness over the past decade: changes above 0.5 points in life evaluation, which is measured on a zero-to-ten scale, can be considered very large changes; a change of 0.5 points is approximately the change when finding gainful employment after a period of unemployment. "Well, it's true that people are comfortable," she explains, with annoyingly good second-language clarity. Stutzer, A., and Frey, B. S. (2008) "Stress that Doesn't Pay: The Commuting Paradox," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 110(2), 339-366. Located in the Pacific Ocean, the island country has consistently topped the travel wish list of many people around the world. Curious to know if you are city is among the top ten happiest cities? This and other checks make it possible to integrate the Gallup US Poll data without the need for re-scaling.[16]. aarhus, bergen, brisbane, copenhagen, happiest cities in the world, helsinki, oslo, stockholm, tel aviv, wellington, zurich. Lisbon – Portugal (5.660) Daegu – South Korea (5.646) Budapest – Hungary (5.642) Port-Louis – Mauritius (5.616) Kathmandu – Nepal (5.606) Dushanbe – Tajikistan (5.601) Busan – South Korea (5.587) Baku – Azerbaijan (5.571) Sofia – Bulgaria (5.563) Zagreb – Croatia (5.536) Tripoli – Libya … (2017) on urban land use). In line with the methodology of the World Happiness Reports, our main outcome is current life evaluation, obtained from the so-called Cantril ladder, which is an item asking respondents to imagine themselves on a ladder with steps numbered from zero at the bottom to ten at the top, where zero represents the worst possible and ten the best possible life. Arguably, this makes it also a more democratic way of measuring their quality of lives. Durham wasn't too far behind at … ↩︎, Included US cities are Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. The Kiwi capital was named the third happiest city in the world after Helsinki in Finland and Aarhus in Denmark. Any views expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization, agency or program of the United Nations. Other cities that have seen large decreases are Pristina (Kosovo), Sanaa (Yemen), and Kabul (Afghanistan), which come fifth, sixth, and seventh from the bottom, respectively. These results imply that the average country happiness is a very strong predictor of city happiness at higher levels of well-being and economic development. If a city lies above the 45-degree line, it has a higher level of happiness inequality than its respective country; if it lies below, it has a lower level. As before, the 45-degree line indicates the points at which there is no difference between the standard deviation in country and city happiness scores. To increase sample size for the US, we complement the data with the Gallup US Poll, a survey which sampled US adults aged 18 and above nationwide between 2008 and 2017. Happiness is a fleeting commodity in reality, it comes and goes, but the perception of happiness is the real bottom-line driver for cities and their branding. When it comes to the worldwide top ten in terms of positive affect, we find that six out of ten cities originate from the Latin American and Caribbean region. Whereas life evaluation is a cognitive-evaluative measure of subjective well-being that asks respondents to evaluate their lives relative to an ideal life, positive and negative affect are experiential measures that ask respondents to report on their emotional experiences on the previous day. In fact, while the general correlation coefficient between country-city pairs stands at 0.96, the correlation coefficient is slightly lower at 0.90 for the low-income group. … Given the speed and scale of urbanisation, with all its benefits and challenges, how do city dwellers fare, on balance, when it comes to their subjective well-being? By one estimate, in 2016, 90 per cent of city dwellers have been breathing unsafe air, resulting in 4.2 million deaths due to ambient air pollution. The other cities in the bottom ten according to how positively their inhabitants evaluate their current lives are Dar es Salaam in Tanzania (which comes sixth from the bottom), New Delhi in India (which comes seventh), and Maseru in Lesotho (which comes eighth). Figure A2 in the Appendix replicates our global ranking of city happiness for positive affect, Figure A3 for negative affect. The World Bank (2019b), Urban Development Overview, Online: http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/urbandevelopment/overview, last accessed 12/12/2019. This year, it ranks cities around the world, instead of countries, by their subjective well-being. The 10 Happiest cities in the world right now. The winning locations end up being quite obvious candidates; entertainment and cultural heavyweights, beautiful … Our analysis is purely descriptive and cannot make causal claims about the effects of urbanisation itself on happiness. While the top ten feature many new faces, the bottom ten feature rather familiar ones: city dwellers in Kabul (Afghanistan), Gaza (Palestine), and Port-au-Prince (Haiti) – places torn by recent war, continuous armed conflict, and devastating natural catastrophes – are the least optimistic worldwide. Dickerson, A., Hole, R. A., and Munford, L. A. [19] For negative affect, we include whether respondents often experienced feeling sadness, worry, and anger (apart from the US where we do not have data on anger for 2014 onwards). Aside from North Carolina and Florida, the top 50 happiest cities are located mainly in the midwest or on the west coast. (ed), Handbook of Eudaimonic Well-Being, Cham: Springer. (2014), and Loschiavo (2019). Naturally, the question arises how cities' happiness has changed over the years. We argue that this is precisely their advantage. [13][14] Our chapter aims to make an important contribution to benchmarking progress towards this goal and its targets in an integrated fashion by studying the current state of how cities are actually doing when it comes to their citizens' subjective well-being and, in doing so, by casting an anchor for continuous future benchmarking. It contains articles and rankings of national happiness, based on respondent ratings of their own lives, which the report also correlates with various (quality of) life factors. Mar 18, 2013 - What makes these cities’ residents happier than anywhere else? In what follows, we first describe the methodology behind our ranking and present our findings on cities' happiness around the world. Our definition of what constitutes a city (for the US) is based on the notion of functional urban areas: territorial and functional units with a population of a particular size in which people live, work, access amenities, and interact socially. Singapore With one of the highest population densities in the world and denizens known for being workaholics, it’s hard to imagine the city-state … They are more likely to be in professional and service jobs, and less likely to have kids. Star City didn’t top any one category—it scored high in nearly all of them. Leveraging the US Poll, we added the ten largest American cities. Despite how amazing Vienna is, it isn't even the happiest city in Austria. [18] To do so, we turn again – in line with the methodology applied in the World Happiness Reports – to the Gallup World Poll and the Gallup US Poll, which include items on positive and negative affect, constructed from batteries of yes-no questions that ask respondents about their emotional experiences on the previous day. (2009) "The life satisfaction approach to valuing public goods: The case of terrorism," Public Choice, 138, 317-345. Getty World’s Happiest Cities. In a new ranking of the "happiest cities in America," Men's Health magazine named Raleigh as the third happiest city in the nation. [20] Indices are then created by averaging across items, and are bound between zero and one. Tradeoffs between happiness and the other dimensions of life in a large population survey," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 139, 60-73. The happiest cities in the world. For the first time in its history, the World Happiness Report has ranked 186 individual cities as well as the world’s happiest countries. That view has propelled Rio to the top of our list of the world's happiest cities. The choice of cities was motivated by selecting the ten largest US cities, all of which have well over 300 observations in the US Poll. Melbourne, Australia. Generally, we find that the average happiness of city residents is more often than not higher than the average happiness of the general country population, especially at the lower end of the well-being and national income scales. While some cities have experienced large increases in their citizens' happiness over the past decade, others have experienced tremendous reductions, often by more than an entire point on the zero-to-ten life evaluation scale. The only top ten cities that are not located in either Scandinavia or Australia and New Zealand are Zurich (Switzerland) and Tel Aviv (Israel). [4] City dwellers are often younger, more educated, and more liberal than their rural counterparts. Editor's Note: This article was originally published in June 2019. Loschiavo, D., (2019) "Big-city life (dis)satisfaction? Its capital city Copenhagen wa… Denmark. Close-knit communities and spectacular surroundings raise the bliss in these urban oases. Graham, C., and Lora, E. (2009) “Paradox and Perception: Measuring Quality of Life in Latin America”, Washington, DC: Brookings Institution/Inter-American Development Bank. People living in these cities are not optimistic about their future. Healthy life expectancies and generosity are elements that keep the residents of Ireland happy. The annual United Nations World Happiness Report released … Of happiest cities in the world future outlook travel round Denmark – reducing carbon emissions least one inhabitants! ) world Bank ( 2019b ), Levinson ( 2012 ), urban Development Overview, Online http! Editor 's Note: this article was originally published in June 2019 and... Building a Green infrastructure for Europe ”, Brussels: Publications Office of century... Cities based on their residents ' self-reported well-being urban land use contribute to biodiversity loss personal without! These urban oases Building a Green infrastructure for Europe ”, Berlin: Springer created by averaging across,... 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