World Happiness Index 2022: Finland first, Estonia 36th

According to the World Happiness Index 2022, the happiest people live in Finland, Estonia’s northern neighbour; Estonians themselves, however, have a long way to go in terms of being happy as the country is ranked 36th.

The index measures subjective well-being, relying on three indicators: life evaluations, positive emotions and negative emotions. This year’s index, marking its tenth anniversary, has again ranked Finland as the happiest country in the world. This is the fifth year in a row Finland lands in the first spot.

Estonia, however, is ranked 36th – just behind Slovakia and ahead of Panama. In the grand scheme of things, the ranking is not bad as the index consists of 146 countries. But even Lithuania, the southernmost of the Baltic states, ranks better than Estonia – 34th.

And Estonia has been steadily improving its happiness ranking. In 2021, it was ranked 40th; in 2019, the country was only 55th.

The second happiest country in the world, according to the index, is Denmark, followed by Iceland, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Sweden is ranked seventh, Latvia 42nd and Russia 80th. The least happy countries in the index are Afghanistan, Lebanon and Zimbabwe.

Global upsurge in benevolence

The report said that although the world suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, making many people unhappy, there was also a positive side – the global upsurge in benevolence.

“This benevolence has provided notable support for the life evaluations of givers, receivers, and observers, who have been gratified to see their community’s readiness to reach out to help each other in times of need. In every global region, there have been large increases in the proportion of people who give money to charity, help strangers, and do voluntary work in every global region.”

“COVID-19 has also demonstrated the crucial importance of trust for human well-being. Deaths from COVID-19 during 2020 and 2021 have been markedly lower in those countries with higher trust in public institutions and where inequality is lower.”

The World Happiness Index is a publication of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, powered by data from the Gallup World Poll. The 2022 index is edited by John F. Helliwell of the University of British Columbia (Canada); Haifang Huang, a professor at the University of Alberta (Canada); Shun Wang, a professor of the KDI School of Public Policy and Management (Korea); and Max Norton of the University of British Columbia (Canada).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Estonian World is in a dire need of your support.
Read our appeal here and become a supporter on Patreon 
Scroll to Top