The World Happiness Report, edited by Oxford Saïd Professor Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, ranks 156 countries according to how happy they are
- Finland ranks No 1 for the 5th year running
- UK rises one place from 18 to 17
- Stress and worry have risen globally during the pandemic
- Kind behaviours rose by a quarter globally during the pandemic
The rankings reflect self-reported wellbeing, which is measured by questions asked in the Gallup world poll covering quality of life and wellbeing. The results tend to be predicted by six factors that contribute to whether people view their lives positively. These are GDP, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.
The top 10 happiest countries are 1. Finland 2. Denmark 3. Iceland 4. Switzerland 5. Netherlands 6. Luxembourg 7. Sweden 8. Norway 9. Israel 10. New Zealand.
The Nordic countries score highly every year. They have high trust and social cohesion, an excellent work-life balance and free education and healthcare.
The report found a significant increase in three prosocial behaviours; donating money to good causes, helping strangers, and doing voluntary work. The global average of these three measures went up by a quarter in 2021 compared to before the pandemic, indicating a significant upsurge in acts of kindness.