What is the happiest country in the world? Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland

Travel woman arms outstretched by the sea

Finland defended its title as the happiest country in the world during a year marked by the pandemic, and people’s trust in others and in their government was a key factor.

It is the fourth consecutive trophy for the Nordic country in the World Happiness Report 2021 published Friday by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

As the pandemic turned around to 2020, the report provided two rankings: the usual one based on the three-year average of polls conducted in 2018-2020 by Gallup, and another focused only on 2020 to help understand the effect of the outbreak. in the subjective well. -be- and how factors that contribute to well-being affected the outcomes of the pandemic.

Happiness and difficulty

Europe tops the ranking in a pandemic year, with the United States trailing Costa Rica

Source: World Report on Happiness

Trust was the key factor that linked happiness and the successful strategies of Covid-19, where societies with the greatest trust in public institutions and greater equality of income were the most successful in the fight against the virus.

Finland has so far weathered the pandemic better than most countries, avoiding lockdowns that reduced life satisfaction around the world. Hospitals have not been overwhelmed and it has managed to keep deaths below 150 per million people, compared to the world average of around 980. Denmark, which came in second, has also weathered the pandemic relatively well.

The United States fell one spot to No. 19, five spots behind Canada and three spots behind developing country Costa Rica, while people in Afghanistan remained the least happy.

Happiness marker

The gap between the countries above and below widened amid the pandemic

The two ranking methods used this time show that the changes in the overall scores were modest, “reflecting both the global nature of the pandemic and a widely shared resilience to it.”

For example, the top 10 in the two methods used shared nine nations: Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, New Zealand, and Austria.

“We must aim for well-being rather than mere wealth, which will be fleeting if we don’t do a better job of addressing the challenges of sustainable development,” said Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. “The pandemic reminds us of our global environmental threats, the urgent need to cooperate and the difficulties in achieving cooperation in each country and globally. We urgently need to learn from Covid-19. “

– With the assistance of Zoe Schneeweiss


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