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The World Happiness Report’s annual rankings are remarkably sturdy regardless of the effect of the pandemic around the world.
According to the Finnish people’s self-reported evaluation of their lives on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being the worst possible life they could have expected to have and ten being the best, Finland once more ranks the happiest.
Nearby Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, and Norway are also in the top ten.
On the other hand, the United States had been reportedly happier, with their ranking moving from 19th to the 16th.
Economist John Helliwell, an editor of the report, explained in an interview with Planet Money in 2019 that the two biggest factors in people’s happiness rankings were their income and social support — “somebody to count on in times of trouble,” Helliwell stated.
Reports of stress have been higher because of the pandemic. However, people have also stated they had been generous with their money and time and were more considerate towards strangers.
However, Finland taking the pinnacle spot isn’t what it seems, as a Finnish writer has argued in Slate that Scandinavia’s ratings for happiness aren’t the result of the excellent quality of life in the country, but more because of the citizens’ lower standards for happiness.
“Consistent with their Lutheran heritage, the Nordic countries are united in their embrace of curbed aspirations,” wrote Jukka Savolainen. “People are socialized to believe that what they have is as good as it gets — or close enough.”