Finland ranked the happiest country for 6th year
Finland is now ranked the happiest country in the world — for the sixth time in a row — according to the World Happiness Report released by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network on Monday.
CNN said the report is gathered over the course of three years from more than 150 countries, using international survey data to rate how people evaluate their lives.
These life evaluations use six factors to measure happiness: gross domestic product per capita indicating financial resources, health, social support, having a sense of freedom, generosity and the country’s level of corruption. The report added all these factors “play strong roles in supporting life evaluations.”
The report noted governments can now, potentially, measure happiness as a way to achieve better well-being and higher happiness levels for its residents.
Happiest, unhappiest countries
The report said the 10 happiest countries in the world are Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Israel, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Luxembourg and New Zealand.
The United States ranked high, at No. 15. Canada (No. 13), the United Kingdom (No. 19) and Australia (No. 12) also placed well for happiness.
John Helliwell, a contributing author to the report, told CNN in regards to Finland's ranking, “Is it, are they doing things that we wish we’d seen before and we can start doing? Or is it something unique about their climate and history that makes them different? And fortunately, at least from my perspective, the answer is the former.”
Countries that ranked lowest in the report include Iraq, Ghana, Pakistan and Niger, with Lebanon and Afghanistan placing last out of all the countries.
The report found a worldwide growth of benevolence levels throughout 2020 and 2021.
Helliwell told CNN that “benevolence to others, especially the helping of strangers, which went up dramatically in 2021, stayed high in 2022.”
The data found in 2022 shows “positive social environments were far more prevalent than loneliness and that gains from increases in positive social connections exceed the well-being costs of additional loneliness, even during COVID-19.”
Social relationships increased significantly after the pandemic. The report noted that “positive social connections and support in 2022 were twice as prevalent as loneliness in seven key countries spanning six global regions.”
International Day of Happiness
The International Day of Happiness is March 20, per the United Nations.
Created by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2013, this day celebrates happiness and recognizes its relevance in public policy objectives today, according to the U.N. website.
The assembly also recognized “the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all peoples.”