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Benevolence and trust key themes in the 2022 World Happiness Report

Tuesday, March 22nd 2022, 10:40 am - Looking out for one's neighbours is a key theme in the report.

Finland is the happiest country on Earth for the fifth year in a row, according to the recently-released World Happiness Report, now in its tenth year.

Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands make up the rest of the top five, while Canada takes the fifteenth spot.

The report is compiled by a "group of independent experts acting in their personal capacities," the World Happiness report website reads.

"Any views expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization, agency, or program of the United Nations."

This year, the theme focused on "happiness, benevolence, and trust," noting social support and altruism appeared to be on the rise in 2021 in many countries, likely fuelled, at least in part, by the hardships brought about by the pandemic.

"The pandemic brought not only pain and suffering but also an increase in social support and benevolence," reads an excerpt.

"As we battle the ills of disease and war, it is essential to remember the universal desire for happiness and the capacity of individuals to rally to each other’s support in times of great need."

The report notes three "pro-social" behaviour - donations, volunteering, and helping strangers rose sharply in 2021 in all regions of the world, "often at remarkable rates," the authors say.

The survey uses global data to report on how people evaluate their lives in more than 150 countries using a variety of metrics, one of them being sustainable development.

In the past, the reports have found that long-term environmental measures positively impact well-being.

The 2020 edition of the happiness report, for example, found that people are willing to pay for cleaner air, and there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that being exposed to nature improves mental health.

Thumbnail: Custom image by Cheryl Santa Maria. All graphical elements sourced from Canva Pro.

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