The most recent report on global happiness provides grounds for optimism.
First, generosity is approximately 25% higher than it was prior to the pandemic.
In an interview with CNN, one of the authors of the World Happiness Report, John Helliwell, stated that “benevolence to others, especially the helping of strangers, which went up dramatically in 2021, stayed high in 2022.”
In addition, global happiness has not decreased over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic’s three years. According to the report, life assessments from 2020 to 2022 have been “remarkably resilient,” with global averages roughly in line with the three years prior to the pandemic.
Helliwell stated in a news release, “Even during these difficult years, positive emotions have remained twice as prevalent as negative ones, and feelings of positive social support have been twice as strong as those of loneliness.”
The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network published the report, which is based on survey results from over 150 countries. The average life evaluations of countries over the three previous years, in this case from 2020 to 2022, are used to rank them in terms of happiness.
The countries with the highest levels of happiness, those with the lowest levels, and everything in between are all listed in the report, along with the factors that typically result in higher levels of happiness.
Six-year winning streak for world’s happiest nation
According to World Happiness Report rankings that are largely based on life evaluations from the Gallup World Poll, Finland is the happiest nation in the world for the sixth year in a row.
Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, and Norway, as well as Denmark’s neighbors, score highly on the measures the report uses to explain its findings: healthy life expectancy, a high GDP per capita, social support, low levels of corruption, generosity in a community where people care for each other, and the freedom to make important decisions about one’s life.
However, given that we are unable to all relocate to Finland, are there any lessons for other societies from these rankings?
“Is it, are they doing things that we wish we had seen earlier and can begin doing? Or on the other hand is it something special about their environment and history that make them unique? And fortunately, at least from my point of view, the answer is the former,” Helliwell, a professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver School of Economics, stated.
Taking an all encompassing perspective on the prosperity of the relative multitude of parts of a general public and its individuals makes for better life assessments and more joyful nations.
The report states that “the objective of every institution should be to contribute what it can to human well-being,” which includes preserving fundamental human rights and accounting for future generations.
Israel climbs to No. 4 this year, rising from No. ranking of 9 last year. The United Kingdom (No. Switzerland (No. 5), No. 8), Luxembourg 9) as well as New Zealand 10) complete the top ten.
No. Australia Canada (No. 12), 13), and Ireland 14), the United States of America 15) and Great Britain (No. 19) were all included in the top 20.
While the same countries typically make it into the top 20 each year, this year there is a new entry: Lithuania.
Over the past six years, the Baltic nation has moved up steadily from No. 52 from No. in 2017 20 on the most recent list Estonia (No.) and the other Baltic nations 31), Latvia (number 41), have also been rising through the ranks.
“Basically a similar story’s working out in the remainder of Focal and Eastern Europe,” Helliwell said.
He stated that over time, nations in those regions “probably have normalized that post-1990 transition and [are] feeling more solid in their new identity.”
France dropped to No. 20 from the top 20. 21 in the report for this year.
Nations ranked lower for happiness
Afghanistan ranks very last on the list, at number 137. At No. 1, Lebanon is one spot higher. 136. On a scale from 0 to 10, these nations’ average life evaluations are more than five points lower than those of the 10 happiest nations.
As the 2022 report was released, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine put both countries in the spotlight of the entire world.
So, according to the most recent polls, where do these two nations stand?
According to the report, although well-being in Ukraine has definitely decreased, “life evaluations in September 2022 remained higher than in the aftermath of the 2014 annexation, supported now by a stronger sense of common purpose, benevolence, and trust in Ukrainian leadership,” despite the severity of the suffering and damage.
According to the survey, confidence in their governments increased in both nations in 2022, “but much more in Ukraine than in Russia.” Additionally, Ukrainian support for Russia’s leadership decreased to zero.
Russia is ranked No. 1 this year. Ukraine ranks No. 70. 92.
A lot of reflection has been sparked by the pandemic’s disruptions.
Helliwell stated, “People are rethinking their life objectives.” They’re saying, ‘I’m returning, however the thing am I returning to? Where do I want to return? What do I want to do with my life?
He hopes that people’s “move towards thinking about values and other people more explicitly” will have an impact not only on the jobs or schools they choose but also on how they function in those settings.
It’s not really about grades or salary; rather, it’s about working together in a useful way. Naturally, that is beneficial to society, but the entire purpose of happiness research is to benefit those conducting it.
To put it another way, “in other words, you do end up feeling better about yourself if you actually look after other people rather than being first and foremost.”
World’s happiest countries for 2023
10. New Zealand
15. United States
18. Czech Republic
19. United Kingdom