Finland was named the “happiest country in the world” on Friday for the fifth year in a row, with Lebanon and Afghanistan finishing the March and France the best.
With a score of 7.82 out of 10, the Nordic country with a population of 5.5 million is ahead of Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and the Netherlands, remains unchanged at the top of the rankings and dominated by European countries and especially Northern Europe.
The three biggest growths were in Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania.
Lebanon, plagued by unrest and a severe financial crisis, slipped to last place with 2.95 points, just behind Zimbabwe and a little ahead of Afghanistan, who last died this year with a score of 2.40.
The study, published since 2012, mainly uses Gallup polls to help residents cross-reference their own level of happiness with GDP and reach estimates of the level of solidarity, personal liberty and corruption.
According to the official rankings of nearly 150 countries, Germany and Canada have slipped to 14th and 15th place respectively, slightly ahead of the United States (16th, +3).
France is ranked 20th (+1), “its best ranking since the study”, while the United Kingdom is ranked 17th (unchanged).
Among other major powers, Brazil dropped to 38th (-3), Japan 54th (+2) and Russia 80th (-4) in this edition, which was completed before the invasion of Ukraine.
China moved up 12 places to 72nd position, while India was at the bottom at 136th position, but gained 3 places.
“The lesson of the World Happiness Report in recent years is that social solidarity, philanthropy between individuals and honesty in government are key to prosperity,” commented co-author Jeffrey Sachs.
“World leaders need to take this into account,” he said.
The Nordic countries have been under attack since the report was created: before Finland, Norway won in 2017 and Denmark topped the list for a long time.