Wars, pandemics, and soaring global inflation have brought people intuitive distress and unease. Still, the 2022 Global Happiness Report found no significant fluctuation in people’s happiness in all world regions. The Nordic country Finland once again topped the list, holding the title of the happiest country in the world for five consecutive years.
SDSN (Sustainable Development Solutions Network) has released the reports on Friday (March 18). The information uses data from surveys of people in 146 countries. The study set up six items for the public to score, and the lowest score is zero; the highest score is ten so that the 146 countries are lined up according to their scores. The six items are:
- Healthy life expectancy.
- GDP per capita.
- Social support.
- Freedom of life choice.
- Perceptions of corruption.
The highest-scoring regions are still the Nordic countries. They monopolize the top eight positions, with Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden, and Norway.
But it may not be just their wealth that makes people in the Nordic countries generally happy. The NPR report quoted a Finnish writer saying that this may have something to do with their different understandings of happiness. In their view, the best life does not mean having high material standards. Instead, people come into contact with each other and realize that what they have is the best or good enough.
Western developed countries are still doing well, and they almost occupy the top 20 rankings. There are only two exceptions, the Middle East country Israel (ranked 9th) and the Eastern European country of the Czech Republic (ranked 18th).
The United States ranked 16th, up to three places from last year. Canada came in at 15th and the UK at 17th.
China ranks 72nd, which is an improvement from last year, but the gap between China’s 1.4 billion people and the happiest people in the world is too big. Before, China was the South American country of Bolivia, and after China was another South American country, Paraguay.
Both sides of the Russian-Ukrainian war ranked behind China, with Russia at 80th and Ukraine at 98th. However, this ranking survey was completed before the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Therefore, the impact of the war on these two countries is not reflected in the rankings.