Finland remains happiest country in the world – even during Covid
Finland has managed to maintain its status as the happiest country in the world.
The Northern European country maintained the top spot in the 2021 World Happiness Report, which was released on Friday, for the fourth year in a row.
It was one of nine European countries to be named among the 10 happiest nations in the world.
After Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Austria were found to be the happiest nations.
“We find year after year that life satisfaction is reported to be happiest in the social democracies of northern Europe,” report co-author Jeffrey Sachs told The Associated Press.
“People feel secure in those countries, so trust is high. The government is seen to be credible and honest, and trust in each other is high,” he said.
The United Kingdom ranked 17th in happiness, while the United States held the 19th spot.
Afghanistan was found to be the least happy country, with Zimbabwe and Rwanda just above the South Asian nation.
Researchers said this year’s Happiness Report was faced with a “unique challenge” in trying to understand what impact the pandemic has had on “subjective well-being and vice versa”.
“Of all the factors usually supporting happiness, the most important for explaining Covid-19 death rates were people’s trust in each other, and confidence in their governments,” the report said.
“We need urgently to learn from Covid-19,” said Mr Sachs in a statement shared with the release of the report.
“The pandemic reminds us of our global environmental threats, the urgent need to cooperate, and the difficulties of achieving cooperation in each country and globally,” he said.
“The World Happiness Report 2021 reminds us that we must aim for wellbeing rather than mere wealth, which will be fleeting indeed if we don’t do a much better job of addressing the challenges of sustainable development.”