On 20th March, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network released its tenth World Happiness Report, marking the celebration of International Happiness Day.
20th March is celebrated as International Happiness Day since the United Nations General Assembly adopted “Resolution 66/281”, deeming the mentioned day to be observed as a day of happiness.
According to the World Happiness Report, Finland is the country with the highest population. This becomes Finland’s sixth year in a row to top the rankings of the World Happiness Report. Denmark and Iceland followed Finland in the 2nd and 3rd position respectively.
The Nordic countries were followed by Israel on the 4th spot after it climbed up 5 spots in comparison to the previous report published last year.
Afghanistan and Lebanon : Happiness Report
Afghanistan and Lebanon found themselves at the bottom of the rankings making them the unhappiest countries according to the survey. Afghanistan was at the bottom even before the Taliban takeover.
More or less, the rankings remained around the same except for minor changes in the rankings, at least in the rankings of the countries listed in the top 20. Apart from the minor changes, the top 20 list received a new member – Lithuania (ranked at number 20)
The United States of America ranked 15th and Germany dropped down two spots to the 16th position. According to the report, the USA displayed even lower levels of satisfaction in this year’s report.
Apart from the country rankings, the report also looked at the global state.
One of the study’s coauthors, Lara Aknin, stated in a press release that the aspect of pro-sociality was one of the noteworthy discoveries. “For a second year, we see that various forms of everyday kindness, such as helping a stranger, donating to charity, and volunteering, are above pre-pandemic levels.” said Lara Aknin
According to the report, huge differences were only visible when the two extremes were compared, For instance, clear differences in life evaluations were visible when Finland and Afghanistan or Lebanon were compared.
The report measure how satisfied people are with their lives through a representative sample conducted nationally. The scientists making the report mainly look for the six factors to approximately measure happiness such as social support, health, freedom, generosity, income, and the absence of corruption.
Apart from that, the report also considered the effects of COVID-19 on the happiness levels of people across the globe. For instance, according to the report, the happiness effect of “having someone to rely on in times of trouble” increased due to the pandemic and its effects. The people who participated in the survey reported having someone they could rely on and therefore the effects of the impact could be measured.
The report also noted that despite the conditions created because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global happiness level did not receive a blow. Instead, the life evaluations between 2020 and 2022 have been very positive.
Another coauthor (John Helliwell) said that even during the years that presented many difficulties, positive emotions continued to be twice as prevalent as the negative ones, and positivity regarding social support was also twice as strong when compared to feelings of loneliness.
The report also made a special analysis of war-torn countries such as Russia and Ukraine. However, the readings of the data showed no significant increase or decrease. Shockingly, according to the report, the life evaluation of the current war that hit Ukraine is better than that of the 2014 annexed Crimean territory.
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