World Happiness Index: Finland tops list for 6th consecutive time, India among unhappiest
Despite the Covid pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, positive emotions remained twice as prevalent as negative ones.
Despite struggling with the Covid pandemic and dealing with the Russia-Ukraine war affecting people’s lives and global economies, the world has continued to remain a happy place indeed! On 20th March, which is observed as World Happiness Day, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network published this year’s edition of the World Happiness Report that assesses global happiness across various measures including national and international dimensions.
The report evaluates countries’ happiness on factors such as effectiveness of government, GDP per capita, income, life expectancy, sense of safety, sense of freedom to make key life decisions, equality, generosity, social support, and the absence of corruption.
Interestingly, global happiness has not taken a hit in the three years of the COVID-19 pandemic with life evaluations from 2020 to 2022 being “remarkably resilient” and global averages almost in line with the three years preceding the pandemic.
“Even during these difficult years, positive emotions have remained twice as prevalent as negative ones, and feelings of positive social support twice as strong as those of loneliness,” the report quotes.
Finland tops as World’s Happiest Country 6th time in a row:
Finland has continued to remain the happiest country in the world for the 6th consecutive year with a score of 7.8 on the scale.
Finns are known to be reserved and laid-back people who do not believe in showing off their material wealth. According to a survey, 87% of Finns feel that nature contributes significantly to their happiness by providing them with peace of mind, energy, and relaxation.
Other factors contributing to Finland’s high score include a high sense of safety in people with its extremely how crime levels, one of the fairest school systems in Europe, an efficient universal healthcare system, and equal opportunities for everyone. A large portion of Finland’s population is the middle class with very little poverty. Even the poorest people have access to quality education and health care. This allows Finns across all social-economic backgrounds to have a high standard of living and to feel content in their daily lives.
Norwegian countries (Nordic countries) such as Denmark and Iceland are ranked second and third, respectively. Other countries in the top ten include Israel, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and New Zealand.
Giving special attention to the high scores of Nordic countries on the Happiness Index, the report says, “it is in light of their generally high levels of both personal and institutional trust. They also had COVID-19 death rates only one-third as high as elsewhere in Western Europe during 2020 and 2021—27 per 100,000 in the Nordic countries compared to 80 in the rest of Western Europe.”
List of Top 20 Happiest Countries in the World:
10. New Zealand
15. United States
18. Czech Republic
19. United Kingdom
India amongst unhappiest, ranked below neighboring countries:
While India might be the fastest-growing economy, when it comes to happiness it has ranked a low 125 out of 137 countries making a small improvement from last year. Its ranking is even below neighboring countries like Nepal, China, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. India has continuously been amongst the unhappiest countries in the world, ranking even below countries in crisis.
Despite the Russia-Ukraine conflict, generosity in both countries increased between 2020 and 2021. Benevolence increased considerably in Ukraine but declined in Russia in 2022. Russia ranks 70th while Ukraine ranks 92nd.
At the very bottom of the list is Afghanistan at 137th position.