Finland was nominated on Friday “The happiest country in the world” for the fourth consecutive year, in a happiness ranking dominated by European countries where the impact of Covid-19 has been surprisingly contrasted.
With a score of 7.84 out of 10, the Nordic country leads Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland and the Netherlands, newcomers to the top 5 in the latest edition of the “World Happiness Report”, an annual study sponsored by the United Nations.
The study, published since 2012, uses mainly Gallup polls ask residents for their own happiness level, crossed with the GDP and evaluations on the level of solidarity, individual freedom and corruption, to arrive at a score of ten points.
Germany ranks 13th, Canada 14th, the United Kingdom 17th, the United States 19th, France 21. Among the great powers, Brazil is in 35th place, Japan in 56th, Russia in 76th and China in 84th, according to the official ranking of some 150 countries, which weights the data of the last three years.
Europe largely dominates the top 10, which also includes Norway, Sweden, Luxembourg and Austria. The only non-European guest: New Zealand, in ninth place.
Yes the measure of “happinessIt is largely subjective and the method of the report is debated, it has established itself as one of the thermometers of global well-being in recent years.
The classification also makes it possible to designate the “least happy country on the planet”: Afghanistan, with a score of 2.52, ahead of Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Botswana and Lesotho.
India is the leading power with the lowest ranking, in a position 139 not enviable.
In Africa, the highest ranked country is Congo Brazzaville, ranked 83. In Asia, Taiwan ranks 24th.
The impact of the pandemic is “clear”
This year, the study was expanded to include some data to better measure the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The impact “is clear,” according to the study: When comparing 2020 data with previous years, the study authors noted. a “significantly higher frequency of negative emotions” in about a third of the countries.
But this effect is contrasted and less than one might have imagined: more than twenty countries have seen this indicator evolve positively and “surprisingly”. there was not, on average, decreased well-being in people’s assessment of their own lives, ”said John Helliwell, one of the co-authors cited in the study.
“One possible explanation is that people see Covid-19 as a common, external threat that hurts everyone and has resulted in a greater sense of solidarity and empathy “, judge the expert. But Covid-19 confirms that “we must aim for more well-being and not more wealth,” underlines another of the authors, Jeffrey Sachs.
The Nordic countries, in the lead for 10 years
Finland, again in the lead this yearIt is also one of the developed countries with the best record against Covid and the country has notably excelled “in mutual trust measures that have helped protect lives during the pandemic,” according to the study.
Despite its long winters and the reputation of its inhabitants, considered not very expansive, even lonely, the Nordic country with 5.5 million inhabitants it benefits from a very high standard of living, efficient public services, a vast nature of forests and lakes. It is also very well ranked in terms of solidarity and in the fight against poverty and inequalities.
The Nordic countries made a foray a decade ago: before Finland, Norway won in 2017 and Denmark it had long held first place.