The 2023 World Happiness Report has revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a relatively small impact on global happiness levels, with the top 20 happiest countries remaining the same as in previous years. Finland retained its top spot, followed by Denmark and Iceland, with Israel being the only new entry in the top five.
World’s 20 Happiest Countries in 2023
10. New Zealand
The World Happiness Report report did find that there had been an increase in acts of kindness, such as helping strangers, donating to charity, and volunteering, which have been linked to higher levels of happiness. This increase in kindness has been particularly notable in Ukraine, where the impact of the war has been evident. Although well-being in Ukraine has taken a hit, it has fallen by less than it did in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea, thanks in part to the rise in fellow feeling across the country.
John Helliwell, one of the authors of the report, noted that the rankings have been remarkably stable during the three COVID-19 years, with changes being continuations of longer-term trends. Positive emotions have remained twice as prevalent as negative ones, and feelings of positive social support twice as strong as those of loneliness.
The report highlights the importance of building social trust and solidarity, particularly in times of crisis. The authors suggest that governments should focus on creating policies that promote kindness and social connections, which can lead to greater well-being and resilience in the face of adversity