Finland was ranked as the happiest country in the world for the sixth straight year, while Taliban-ruled Afghanistan was ranked as the least happy country, according to figures released Monday.
Scandinavian countries dominated the World Happiness Report ranking, with Denmark (2nd), Iceland (3rd), Sweden (6th) and Norway (7th) in the top 10.
European countries such as the Netherlands (5th), Switzerland (8th) and Luxembourg (9th) were strongly represented.
Israel (4th) and New Zealand (10th) completed the top 10.
The United States was 15th and Canada 13th.
The ranking was released on the 10th annual World Happiness Day – March 20th. The report assesses six key factors: social support, income, health, freedom, generosity and the absence of corruption. Individual scores for each factor are collected in the Life Score metric, which dictates ranking.
The report gets much of its happiness data from the Gallup World Poll.
“Average happiness and our country rankings, for both emotions and life assessments, have been remarkably stable over the three COVID-19 years,” John Helliwell, a report author and professor at the University of British Columbia, said in a press release.
“Changes in the rankings that have taken place have been continuations of longer-term trends, such as the increases in the rankings of the three Baltic countries,” Helliwell said. “Even in these difficult years, positive emotions are twice as prevalent as negative ones, and feelings of positive social support are twice as strong as feelings of loneliness.”
The report’s authors find that the happiness gap between affluent and less affluent people is small in countries that are largely unhappy. The same is true for mostly happy countries. The only place where this trend has started to diverge is in some African countries.
Afghanistan and Lebanon remain the two unhappiest countries in the rankings for the second year in a row. Both countries’ Life Rating scores were 5 points lower than the countries at the top of the list.
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