For the fifth time running, Finland ranked as the happiest country in the world in the latest World Happiness Report, an annual, independent survey organised by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
All the Nordic countries remained among the top ten this year. The high rankings for this group of nations was in part attributed to "strong social cohesion, excellent work-life balance and free education and health care."
World Happiness Report 2022 rankings
10. New Zealand
In addition to key statistical indicators, the Gallup World Poll is a principal source of data for the report. This poll asks respondents to evaluate their current life as a whole using the mental image of a ladder, with the best possible life for them as a 10 and worst possible as a 0. Typically, around 1,000 responses are gathered annually for each country.
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Not surprisingly, the report says that the coronavirus pandemic with its restrictive measures dampened feelings of happiness around the world.
A central finding of the report was that especially the extent to which people trust their governments and have trust in the benevolence of others, supports their happiness before, during, and likely after the pandemic.
Countries where people trusted their governments and each other experienced lower Covid-19 death tolls and showed a greater tendency for maintaining or rebuilding a sense of common purpose to deliver happier, healthier and more sustainable lives.
The report noted the direct and concrete effects on people’s happiness of continuing crises such as pandemics, war or accelerating of climate change.
In contrast, it says difficult times have increased the value of community - helping strangers, donating money and volunteering was seen to increase across the world in 2021.