Best Of Times, Worst Of Times? Three Takeaways From This Year’s World Happiness Report


Each yr, the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, in collaboration with varied organizations and specialists all over the world, produces its World Happiness Report.

Here are three of the extra compelling takeaways from this yr’s report.

Takeaway #1: Finland retains its spot because the world’s happiest nation

Finland is the happiest nation on this planet for the fourth yr in a row, tallying a 7.889 on the “average life evaluations” measure, proven right here:

“Please imagine a ladder, with steps numbered from 0 at the bottom to 10 at the top. The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time?”

Other prime performers had been Iceland (7.575), Denmark (7.515), Switzerland (7.508), the Netherlands (7.504), Sweden (7.314), Germany (7.312), Norway (7.290), New Zealand (7.257), and Austria (7.213).

And, of the 95 international locations surveyed in 2020, the highest 10 unhappiest international locations had been Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Jordan, India, Cambodia, Benin, Myanmar, Namibia, Egypt, Kenya, and Ethiopia.

Takeaway #2: Croatia makes beneficial properties, the United Kingdom dips

Zambia, Croatia, Nigeria, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan had been the international locations that confirmed probably the most enchancment when evaluating 2020 happiness rankings to earlier years. Impressively, Croatia jumped from 61st to twenty third place. This could have one thing to do with insurance policies that saved Croatian residents working through the pandemic whereas residents of different international locations had been compelled into employment hiatuses. The researchers additionally level out that the pandemic’s impact on employment disparities between high-skilled and low-skilled staff in Croatia wasn’t practically as pronounced as in different international locations corresponding to Ireland and Portugal.

On the opposite finish of the spectrum, the Philippines, El Salvador, Benin, Malta, and Ecuador confirmed the steepest declines in happiness in 2020. Other notable dips had been discovered within the United Kingdom (thirteenth to 18th place), Canada (tenth to fifteenth place), and the UAE (nineteenth to twenty seventh place).

The United States improved its standing barely, to 14th place (beforehand sixteenth). And, regardless of its troubles with Covid-19, Italy improved from twenty eighth to twenty fifth place.

Takeaway #3: The world exhibits resilience within the face of Covid-19

In spite of Covid-19, the world stays optimistic about its future. Comparing common life evaluations in 2020 to 2017-2019, the researchers discovered proof of a small upward trajectory. Happiness beneficial properties had been most pronounced in East Asia and South Asia whereas Latin America and the Caribbean confirmed the steepest regional declines.

But that’s solely a part of the story. Apart from the typical life analysis measure — which serves because the core comparability query for the happiness rankings — the researchers additionally tracked three unfavorable feelings: fear, unhappiness, and anger. Here, the information clearly present a extra anxious world than in pre-coronavirus occasions. The 10 international locations exhibiting the biggest will increase in unfavorable feelings had been Poland, Tajikistan, Zimbabwe, Thailand, Egypt, Malta, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Portugal, and Ecuador.

The authors conclude, “Comparing the 2017-2019 rankings with those based on the 2018-2020 data, for the 95 countries with data for 2020, the rank correlation is 0.99. This shows that Covid-19 has led to only modest changes in the overall rankings, reflecting both the global nature of the pandemic and a widely shared resilience in the face of it.”




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