A Happy Week

World Happiness Report 2017

Well, that was a busy week! This year March 20, the International Day of Happiness, fell on Monday, with the first event being the breakfast-time launch of World Happiness Report 2017 in the Members’ dining room of the United Nations. We were guests of the Italian Delegation, with breakfast provided by Illy. The Report itself, featuring special chapters on China, Africa, the United States, the workplace, the social foundations of happiness, and the sources of happiness and misery over the life course, is now in the first year of a three-year sponsorship by the Illy Foundation, reflecting their commitment to the understanding and promotion of better lives.

World Happiness Report 2017

Andrea Illy, Jeffrey Sachs, John Helliwell, Richard Layard, Richard Easterlin

It was a happy event, setting off a hectic week of interviews and follow-up analysis in all parts of the world. Much of the coverage started with a focus on Norway’s top spot on the podium, and often then moved in a natural way to deeper consideration of the features of life in happy and unhappy countries, and on how lives can be made better everywhere.

This broadening and deepening of public conversations about happiness is very encouraging. As the basic data and analysis become more widely known and understood, they will spur efforts, whether local or national, public or private, to achieve the hopes of the Bhutanese UN Resolution of 2011.

The first World Happiness Report was written to support that resolution, and subsequent reports have been designed to maintain and increase momentum. The sponsorship of Illy and the support of our many contributors makes us grateful and hopeful. And our science tells us that both gratitude and hope themselves create happiness. Thus ends a happy week.


John Helliwell, on behalf of the editors and contributors of WHR 2017.