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Finland named the world’s happiest for the fifth year in a row


Helsinki skyline from hotel Torni, Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland

© Santiago Urquijo | Moment | Getty Images

According to an annual report Finland was named the world’s most happy country for five years in succession. Other Nordic countries continue to be high up.   

The United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network 10th Anniversary World Happiness Report,Published Friday, the results showed that Finland scored “significantly better” than other top 10 countries.

Denmark was still in second place followed by Iceland. Sweden and Norway were respectively seventh and eighth on the list.

These rankings reflect the Gallup World poll scores of the 146 countries included in the 2019-2021 list. This includes factors like gross domestic product per head and social support. It also considers how citizens assess their freedom and generosity.

The report actually noted that there was a worldwide upsurge of benevolence during the Covid-19 pandemic.

John Helliwell from the University of British Columbia, who edited the report, stated that there was a “remarkable global growth” in three acts of kindness as measured by Gallup’s World Poll. These were volunteering, donations, and helping strangers. He pointed out that people were performing all three acts of kindness nearly 25% higher than they did before the pandemic.

Even though this data was not available prior to Russia attacking Ukraine, it has been a source of great relief for the many Ukrainians fleeing from war.

It was also noted that the Nordic countries had higher levels of institutional and personal trust and performed better in handling the coronavirus pandemic. In the Nordic countries, 27 people died from Covid-19 per 100,000 in 2020/2021, as compared with 80 deaths in Western Europe.

But the report noted that there was a divide between Sweden and the Nordic countries. Sweden chose to avoid imposing full social-distancing regulations at the beginning of the pandemic. The covid mortality rates in Sweden were five times greater at 75/100k than those in other Nordic countries at 15/100k.

World Happiness Report 2015 also tried to make the most of data and shed light on harmony and balance, which is often overlooked and not appreciated enough. The Nordic Countries were again found to have higher levels balance and harmony.

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