World’s happiest countries for 2022
The globe is on edge due to the tragic loss of life and mounting uncertainty, but there is some good news for mankind: charity is expanding throughout the world.
This is one of the main conclusions of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s World Happiness Report, which is based on data from a global survey of respondents in about 150 different nations.
The research, which is celebrating its tenth year, examines happiness throughout the world, including the happiest countries, the least happy, and every country in between, as well as the causes of happiness.
The report has also discovered something unexpected using two years’ worth of Covid-19 pandemic data.
According to John Helliwell, one of the report’s three founding editors, “the huge surprise was that globally, in an uncoordinated way, there have been extremely large rises in all the three forms of kindness that are inquired about in the Gallup World Poll.”
“Especially the support to strangers in 2021, relative to either before the pandemic or 2020, by a very substantial amount in all regions of the world,” said Helliwell, an emeritus professor at the Vancouver School of Economics, University of British Columbia.
According to the report, the global average of the three metrics increased by nearly 25% in 2021 compared to pre-pandemic values.
And as the world reacts to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, compassion is undoubtedly on everyone’s mind. Before discussing the potential effects of this growing global battle on happiness, let’s take a look at some of the nations where it was widely felt in 2021.
Nordic countries are the world’s happiest.
According to the World Happiness Report rankings, which are mostly based on life evaluations from the Gallup World Poll, Finland is the happiest nation in the world for the fifth consecutive year.
The report uses six metrics to explain its findings: a healthy life expectancy, GDP per capita, social support in times of need, low corruption and high social trust, generosity in a community where people look out for one another, and freedom to make important life decisions. The Nordic region and its neighbors Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland all score very well on these metrics.
In this year’s rankings, Iceland comes in at No. 3, just ahead of Denmark at No. 2. Sweden is ranked seventh, and Norway is ranked eighth.
Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg are ranked fourth through sixth, followed by Israel at number nine and New Zealand at number ten.
The United States (No. 16), the United Kingdom (No. 17), and Canada (No. 15) all made it into the top 20.
Happiness under difficult circumstances
Another positive finding in this year’s report is that anxiety and stress decreased in the second year of the pandemic. Worry and stress increased by 8% in 2020, but only by 4% in 2021 compared to before the pandemic.
Even while there were new surprises in the second year, “I think part of that is because people knew a little more what they were dealing with,” Helliwell said.
According to the survey, average life ratings “have remained astonishingly resilient” during the pandemic, with both negative and positive aspects counteracting one another.
According to the report, “life satisfaction has decreased for the young while increasing for those over 60 – with no overall change.”
According to Helliwell, there is a perception that social crises either bring out the best or the worst in civilizations.
When a tragedy actually occurs and people respond favorably to help others, it improves people’s perceptions of themselves and of their fellow citizens since, in general, people are excessively pessimistic about the goodwill in the cultures they live in, according to Helliwell.
In times when you think “these are awful circumstances,” you discover that both trust in others and general life evaluations frequently increase, but what’s really occurring is that people are collaborating to deal with them.
Although it is yet unknown how the scales will ultimately tilt, this interaction of bad and good aspects very much relates to the situation in Ukraine.
Working together will undoubtedly help mitigate the tragedies that strike Ukrainians to some extent, according to Helliwell.
Although the real devastation is awful, there will be a temporary unity among them since their heartland is under siege.
Because government censorship skews information that could help people assess their quality of life, it is particularly difficult to predict how the conflict would affect happiness in Russia as a whole.
The surveys used to calculate this year’s happiness rankings were completed well before the invasion. In the 2022 study, Ukraine ranks at No. 98 and Russia at No. 80, placing both countries in the bottom half of the global happiness rankings.
Afghanistan is ranked 146th in the 2022 study, which serves as “a stark reminder of the material and immaterial damage that war delivers on its many victims,” according to Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, another report editor.
Because of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, happiness elsewhere in the world may also be in jeopardy.
It’s plausible that some people would feel fortunate they aren’t there or sympathetic to the point of anguish for those who are there after witnessing what war can do up close on their television screens every day to the lives of individuals who have nothing to do with war and want nothing to do with war.
And while both of these emotions are valid and reasonable, they are acting in opposition to one another.
We can only hope that compassion, in all its manifestations, continues to rise through 2022 and beyond.
The happiest nations in the world in 2022
- 1. Finland
10. New Zealand
16. United States
17. United Kingdom
18. Czechia (Czech Republic)