Each year, the World Happiness Report measures the overall happiness of the world’s countries. Through their analysis, they combine factors such as subjective wellbeing with other key indicators such as life expectancy, the freedom to make life choices and the GDP. For the last two years, the study has also taken into account the country’s response to COVID-19. Then an overall score is produced for each country. The Nordics have always done well in the study, with each placing in the top ten.
However, it is Finland that stands out by occupying the number one spot this year, making 2022 the fifth time in a row that Finland does so! This year Finland has increased the distance between first and second place by having over 200 points more than the runner-up, Denmark. The rest of the top five includes Iceland, Switzerland and the Netherlands. According to the study, Finland and the Nordics excel with their high level of social trust, great work-life balance and free education and healthcare.
During turbulent times, it appears the Finnish way of doing things is able to provide a sense of calm, balance and positive affect. Another positive note is that 2021 saw what the authors of the study identify as “measures of prosocial behaviour”, such as donations, volunteering, and helping strangers, increase globally.