Thanks to two studies conducted in honor of this year’s International Day of Happiness, it is no longer a secret where Hungary’s most cheerful residents reside. If you’re looking to make a move, it seems Tatabánya is currently home to the country’s most joyful citizens. Despite becoming happier overall, Hungary is still a bit behind the countries of Central Europe.
The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness that ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. According to the annual survey released on Wednesday, Finland has been crowned the world’s happiest country for the second year in a row, followed closely by the other Nordic countries.
South Sudan came last in the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s 2019 World Happiness Report. The study ranks 156 countries according to factors like GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.
Hungary’s happiness has steadily been improving. Last year, the country came in 69th place. But this year, Hungary’s citizens have propelled the country into 62nd place.
However, there is still plenty of room for improvement as several of Hungary’s neighbors report higher levels of contentment: the Czech Republic (20th), Slovakia (38th), Poland (40th), Slovenia (44th) and Romania (48th). At the same time, Serbia (70), Croatia (75), Bulgaria (97) and Ukraine (133) are unhappier. It appears even Portugal (66) and Greece (82) have work to do.
Want to enjoy life? Move to Tatabánya!
The Positive Psychology Research Group from Eötvös Loránd University published its own study in honor of the International Day of Happiness. Its findings showed an increase in happiness in comparison to the previous two years. The development varies by county and region, however. The happiest Hungarians reside in the West Transdanubia region, and the unhappiest portion of the population is found in the Northern part of the country.
Tatabánya, a former mining town, has once again been dubbed the happiest city in Hungary. Despite reporting higher levels of contentment, Salgótarján and Miskolc (both in Northern Hungary) still occupy the last two county seats. Among the big cities, Győr is the happiest. Unfortunately, Kecskemét, Veszprém, Zalaegerszeg, and Szombathely have seen reductions. Debrecen, Békéscsaba, Szekszárd, Pécs and Kaposvár have experienced mild improvement. The level of happiness of those living in Budapest, the country’s wealthiest city, still rests below the Hungarian average.
On the featured photo illustration: Hungarian football fans celebrate a goal. Photo by István Ruzsa/MTI