Finland has been ranked the happiest country in the world for the fifth year in a row, far ahead of its peers in the World Happiness Report 2022.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network said on Friday that Denmark retained second place. Iceland overtook Switzerland and took third place, while the Netherlands finished fifth in the top five. The United States is in 16th place, three times higher than it was in 2021.
“The lesson from the World Happiness Report over the years is that social support, generosity with one another, and honesty in government are essential to well-being,” said Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University.
In the 10 years in which the report was published, the largest increases in happiness occurred in Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania, and the largest decreases in Lebanon, Venezuela and Afghanistan. The authors found, on average, a moderate long-term upward trend in stress, anxiety, and sadness in most countries, as well as a “slight long-term decrease in life satisfaction,” they wrote.
Important variables that help explain people’s life ratings include GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom to make life choices, and perceptions of corruption.
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