This year, the World Happiness Report focuses especially on the environment – social, urban and natural. After presenting the usual country rankings and explanations of life evaluations in Chapter 2, the report turns to these three categories of environment, and how they affect happiness.
The social environment is dealt with in detail in the later parts of Chapter 2. It is also a main focus of Chapter 7, which looks at happiness in the Nordic countries and finds that higher personal and institutional trust are key factors in explaining why life evaluations are so high in those countries.
Urban life is the focus of Chapter 3, which examines the happiness ranking of cities, and of Chapter 4, which compares happiness in cities and rural areas across the world. An Annex considers recent international efforts to develop common definitions of urban, peri-urban, and rural communities.
The natural environment is the focus of Chapter 5, which examines how the local environment affects happiness. Chapter 6 takes a longer and broader focus on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The wide range of the SDGs links them to all three of the environmental themes considered in other chapters.
In the rest of the Overview chapter, the authors synthesize the main findings relating to the three environmental themes. The report then concludes with a brief summary of the individual chapters.