It could be Finland The happiest country in the world For five straight years — but the United States is gaining ground.
This is according to the tenth year world happiness reportpublished by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network on Friday. The United States now ranks 16th on the list of the happiest country in the world, trailing Ireland, Germany and Canada.
That’s a three-point gain from last year, when the United States was 19. The United States now ranks higher than countries such as the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Belgium and France on a range of happiness measures.
The report uses Gallup World Poll data from 2019 to 2021 to score 146 countries across factors including GDP per capita, social support, life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and perceptions of corruption.
The researchers note that Finland’s victory is not close this time: Finland’s victory is “significantly ahead” of any other country. Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and the Netherlands are among the top five in that order.
The report says that the world is experiencing, on average, a moderate long-term upward trend in stress, anxiety and sadness, and a slight long-term decline in enjoyment of life. But average life assessments, which take into account the net difference in negative and positive influences, have remained “remarkably flexible during Covid-19.”
John Helliwell, a University of British Columbia professor who helped edit the report, noted:Remarkable global growth“In three acts of kindness measured by the Gallup World Poll: helping strangers, volunteering, and making donations. Altogether, the global average of these three actions increased 25% in 2021, compared to pre-pandemic times.
Notably, the report’s data was collected prior to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The authors say that future prospects for global happiness will depend on the course of the COVID pandemic and the scale of the military conflict.
“The pandemic has caused not only pain and suffering, but also increased social support and giving,” the report read. “As we fight disease, disease and war, it is imperative that we remember the universal desire for happiness and the ability of individuals to rally each other’s support in times of greatest need.”
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