What is the International Day of Happiness? It’s a day to be happy, of course! Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated the International Day of Happiness as a way to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world. 

The General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 66/281  of 12 July 2012 proclaimed 20 March the International Day of Happiness recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives. It also recognized the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all peoples.

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The resolution was initiated by Bhutan, a country which recognized the value of national happiness over national income since the early 1970s and famously adopted the goal of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product. It also hosted a High Level Meeting on "Happiness and Well-Being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm" during the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly.

The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness. It contains articles, and rankings of national happiness based on respondent ratings of their own lives, which the report also correlates with various life factors. There are six key variables that have been found to support well-being: income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity.

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According to the World Happiness Report 2018, the Republic of Belarus ranks 73rd in the world in terms of happiness and lags behind all neighboring countries except Ukraine in this indicator.

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There is a new top ranking country, Finland, but the top ten positions are held by the same countries as in the last two years, although with some swapping of places. Four different countries have held top spot in the four most recent reports- Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and now Finland. The least happy countries are, according to the report, South Sudan, Central African Republic and Burundi.

This year, special attention was paid to the study of countries in terms of happiness for migrants.  And here Belarus has good indicators: migrants feel happier in it (46th place out of 117) than in neighboring Poland (49th place), Russia (51st place), Lithuania (71st place), Latvia (85th) and Ukraine (92nd).

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