Finland voted world’s happiest country for fifth year in a row

Nordic nations dominated the top 10, with Denmark and Iceland in second and third

Lucy Thackray
Friday 18 March 2022 11:43 GMT
<p>Finland’s natural beauty may have something to do with the report’s findings</p>

Finland’s natural beauty may have something to do with the report’s findings

Finland has once again been crowned the “world’s happiest country” in the World Happiness Report 2022 - making it the fifth consecutive year it has scored the top spot.

The report, now in its 10th year, is produced each spring by the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network, based on data from the Gallup World Poll.

The Nordic nations dominated the top spots on the index, with Denmark and Iceland following Finland as second and third happiest countries respectively, with Sweden and Norway taking the seventh and eighth spots.

The team behind the report “uses global survey data to report on how people evaluate their own lives in more than 150 countries around the world”, asking locals to rank their experience in the country, as well as looking at each nation’s GDP, life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom and corruption levels.

Low crime rates, an abundance of natural beauty, an emphasis on community and co-operation, universal health care, and few people living in poverty are all thought to contribute to the Finnish nation’s happiness.

The UK was ranked 17th in the 2022 report, with the US at number 16 and Canada at number 15.

The editor of the 2022 report found that philanthropy and random acts of kindness featured strongly in the findings.

“Helping strangers, volunteering and donations in 2021 were strongly up in every part of the world, reaching levels almost 25 per cent above their pre-pandemic prevalence,” said John Helliwell, editor and economics professor at the University of British Columbia.

The team behind the report emphasised that the studies had been conducted well before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Nevertheless, Russia and Ukraine were both ranked low in the happiest nations top 100, with Russia at number 80 and Ukraine at number 98.

Afghanistan fell at the bottom of the list, at number 146 - “a stark reminder of the material and immaterial damage that war does to its many victims,” said Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, one of the report’s editors, in a press release.

The top 20 happiest countries in the world

  1. Finland
  2. Denmark
  3. Iceland
  4. Switzerland
  5. The Netherlands
  6. Luxembourg
  7. Sweden
  8. Norway
  9. Israel
  10. New Zealand
  11. Austria
  12. Australia
  13. Ireland
  14. Germany
  15. Canada
  16. United States
  17. United Kingdom
  18. Czechia (Czech Republic)
  19. Belgium
  20. France

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