Ireland officially the 13th happiest country in the world

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Ireland Officially The 13Th Happiest Country In The World Ireland Officially The 13Th Happiest Country In The World
Northern Europeans once again dominated the top spots in the UN-sponsored World Happiness index. Photo: Getty Images
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Ireland is officially the 13th happiest country in the world, according to the latest UN-sponsored World Happiness index.

Northern Europeans once again dominated the top spots, with Finland claiming first place for the fifth year in a row.

The Finns were closely followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

The index has ranked war-scarred Afghanistan as the unhappiest country, following its takeover by the Taliban last year. The latest list was compiled before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"This [index] presents a stark reminder of the material and immaterial damage that war does to its many victims," co-author Jan-Emmanuel De Neve said.

The World Happiness Report, now in its 10th year, is based on people's own assessment of their happiness, as well as economic and social data.

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This year, data from social media was also used to compare people's emotions before and after the Covid-19 pandemic. Researchers found "strong increases in anxiety and sadness" in 18 countries, but a fall in feelings of anger.

Ireland rose two places in the latest list to 13th, while the United States rose three places to 16th, one ahead of Britain. France climbed to 20th, its highest ranking yet.

Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia were meanwhile the countries to record the biggest boosts in wellbeing.

Lebanon, which is facing economic meltdown, fell to second from last on the index of 146 countries, just below Zimbabwe.

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