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(CNN) There is reason for optimism in the latest World Happiness Report.
First, the charity is about 25% higher than it was before the pandemic.
“Charity towards others, especially helping strangers, which rose significantly in 2021, remained high in 2022,” John Helliwell, one of the authors of the World Happiness Report, said in an interview with CNN.
And global happiness has not been damaged in the three years of the Covid-19 pandemic. The report says life assessments from 2020 to 2022 were “remarkably resilient”, with global averages essentially in line with the three years leading up to the pandemic.
“Even during these difficult years, positive feelings remained twice as prevalent as negative emotions, and feelings of positive social support are twice as strong as those of loneliness,” Helliwell said in a press release.
The report, a publication of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network, is based on global survey data from people in more than 150 countries. Countries are ranked on happiness based on average life ratings over the previous three years, in this case from 2020 to 2022.
The report, released Monday, identifies the happiest countries, those at the bottom of the happiness scale and everything in between, as well as factors that tend to increase happiness. March 20 is World Happiness Daywhich is the day set by the United Nations to celebrate its tenth anniversary in 2023.
Six consecutive years of victories for the happiest country in the world
For the sixth year in a row, Finland is the happiest country in the world, according to rankings from the World Happiness Report which draws heavily on life ratings from the Gallup World Poll.
The Scandinavian country and its neighbors Denmark, Iceland, Sweden and Norway score very well on the measures the report uses to explain its findings: healthy life expectancy, per capita GDP, social support, low corruption, and generosity in a society where people take care of one another. And the freedom to make major life decisions.
But since we can’t all move to Finland, is there something other societies can learn from these rankings?
“Is it, do they do things we wish we’d seen before and could start doing? Or does something unique about their climate and history make them different? Fortunately, at least in my view, the answer is,” said Helliwell, a professor emeritus at the Vancouver School of Economics. University of British Columbia”.
Taking a holistic view of the well-being of all components and members of society leads to better life assessments and happier countries.
The report adds that “the goal of every institution should be to contribute as much as possible to human well-being”, which includes respect for future generations and the preservation of basic human rights.
Israel moves to fourth place this year from ninth place last year. The Netherlands (No. 5), Switzerland (No. 8), Luxembourg (No. 9) and New Zealand (No. 10) round out the top 10.
Australia (No. 12), Canada (No. 13), Ireland (No. 14), the United States (No. 15), and the United Kingdom (No. 19) rounded out the top twenty.
While the same countries tend to appear in the top 20 year after year, there is a new entrant this year: Lithuania.
The Baltic country has been climbing steadily over the past six years from 52nd place in 2017 to 20th in the most recent list. The other Baltic countries, Estonia (No. 31) and Latvia (No. 41), were moving up the ranks as well.
“It’s the same story that plays out in the rest of Central and Eastern Europe,” Helliwell said.
Countries in those regions “may have normalized it Post 1990 And [are] They feel more solidified in their new identity” as the years go by, he said.
France dropped out of the top 20 to rank 21st in this year’s report.
Countries ranked lower in terms of happiness
Afghanistan ranks thirty-seventh at the bottom of the list. Lebanon ranks first at number 136. Average life ratings in these countries are more than five points lower (on a scale of 0 to 10) than in the 10 happiest countries.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine put both countries in the global spotlight with the release of the 2022 report.
So, what is the position of these two countries, according to the latest polls?
Well-being in Ukraine has certainly taken a hit, but “despite the scale of suffering and damage in Ukraine, life ratings in September 2022 remained higher than they were in the aftermath of the 2014 annexation, now underpinned by a stronger sense of common purpose, benevolence and confidence in the Ukrainian leadership.”
Trust in their governments grew in both countries in 2022, the survey says, “but much more in Ukraine than in Russia.” And Ukrainian support for the leadership in Russia has fallen to zero.
In this year’s rankings, Russia ranks 70th, and Ukraine 92nd.
The disruptions caused by the pandemic have prompted much thought.
“People are rethinking their life goals,” Helliwell said. “They say, ‘I’ll be back,’ but what am I going back for?” What do I want to return to? How do I want to spend the rest of my life? “
He hopes that this “move toward thinking about other people’s values and people more clearly” will affect not only factors like the jobs or schools people choose, but also how they function in those environments.
“It’s not really about grades or salary, it’s about cooperating with others in a meaningful way. Of course, it’s good for the world, but the whole point of this happiness research is that it’s also good for people who do it.”
“In other words, you end up feeling better about yourself if you actually take care of other people instead of the first person.”
The happiest countries in the world for 2023
5. The Netherlands
10. New Zealand
15. United States
18. Czech Republic
19. United Kingdom
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