(Bloomberg) — Finland was crowned the world’s happiest country for the fifth year in a row, scoring significantly higher than its peers, in the World Happiness Report 2022 ranking.
Denmark maintained its second place, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network reported on Friday. Iceland overtook Switzerland to take third place and the Netherlands rounded out the top five. The United States ranked 16th, advancing three places from the 2021 ranking.
“The lesson from the World Happiness Report over the years is that social support, mutual generosity and honesty in government are crucial to well-being,” said Jeffrey Sach, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at the Columbia University.
During the 10 years that the report has been published, the countries where happiness has been most assured are Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania, while those where it has decreased the most are Lebanon, Venezuela and Afghanistan. The authors found, on average, a moderate long-term upward trend in stress, worry, and sadness in most countries, as well as “a slight long-term decline in enjoyment of life,” they wrote.
The report uses global survey data to report on how people assess their own lives in more than 150 countries around the world, and the ranking is based on a three-year average. Key variables that help explain people’s life evaluations include gross domestic product per capita, healthy life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom to make life choices, and perceptions of corruption.
“World leaders need to pay attention,” Sachs said. “Politics should aim – as the great sages insisted long ago – on the well-being of the people, not on the power of the rulers.”
The ranking of the happiest in the world goes to Finland for the fifth year in a row
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