Finland was crowned the happiest country in the world for the fifth consecutive year, with a score significantly ahead of its peers in the World Happiness Report 2022 ranking. This is according to World Happiness Report rankings based largely on life evaluations from the Gallup World Poll. Denmark kept its second place, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network said on Friday. Iceland bypassed Switzerland to take third place and the Netherlands rounded out the top five.

The surveys this year’s happiness rankings were based on were conducted well before the invasion. Ukraine and Russia both fall into the bottom half of world rankings for happiness in the 2022 report, with Ukraine at No. 98 and Russia at No. 80. Then, Indonesia is on no.92.

The Nordic countries get all score very well on the measures the report uses to explain its findings: healthy life expectancy, GDP per capita, social support in times of trouble, low corruption and high social trust, generosity in a community where people look after each other and freedom to make key life decisions.

Not surprisingly, the report says that the coronavirus pandemic with its restrictive measures dampened feelings of happiness around the world.

A central finding of the report was that especially the extent to which people trust their governments and have trust in the benevolence of others, supports their happiness before, during, and likely after the pandemic.

Countries where people trusted their governments and each other experienced lower Covid-19 death tolls and showed a greater tendency for maintaining or rebuilding a sense of common purpose to deliver happier, healthier and more sustainable lives.

The report noted the direct and concrete effects on people’s happiness of continuing crises such as pandemics, war or accelerating of climate change.

In contrast, it says difficult times have increased the value of community – helping strangers, donating money and volunteering was seen to increase across the world.

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