Finland topped the list in the 2022 World Happiness Report, while Afghanistan was last among the 146 ranked countries and territories.
The World Happiness Report released by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network on March 18 recorded three countries Bulgaria, Romania, and Serbia increasing the most in rank. Topping the list is Finland, for five years in a row.
Other Nordic countries also continue to hold the top of the rankings. Denmark holds second place, followed by Iceland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. The US rose three places compared to last year, reaching 16th place and ranked above the UK. France climbed to 20th place. Vietnam also increased its rank on the list, from 79 to 77. Bhutan – the famous Buddhist kingdom – was not ranked.
Lebanon – a Middle Eastern country facing an economic crisis, and Afghanistan – which country has just ended an armed conflict for many years, hold the bottom positions at 145 and 146 respectively. The report was completed before Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine.
“This list continues to remind all of us of the suffering of war victims,” said Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, co-author of the report.
The ranking is based on a survey of people’s happiness from Gallup (an American polling company based in Washington D.C.), combined with GDP per capita, life expectancy, individual freedom, social welfare, social support, and corruption in each country.
This year’s report also uses data from social networks to compare people’s emotions before and after the Covid-19 pandemic. The authors found that 18 countries had “strongly increased feelings of anxiety and sadness”.
In Helsinki – the Finnish capital, Jukka Viitasaari (a business owner) said he was not surprised Finland was a happy country. “There’s undeniably a lot of good here: beautiful nature, well-managed country.”
Finland is a large country in Northern Europe with an area similar to Vietnam. But the population is 20 times smaller than Vietnam – only 5.5 million people. Mainly forests and lakes, good public service, and has the lowest rate of violent crime.
The 10 happiest countries in the world 2022
- The Republic of Finland
- Switzerland Confederation
- The Netherlands
- Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
- The Kingdom of Sweden
- The Kingdom of Norway
- State of Israel
- New Zealand