Helsinki [Finland], March 20 (ANI): Finland has taken the top spot for the fourth consecutive year as the happiest country in the world despite the global pandemic's devastating effects according to the UN-curated World Happiness Report 2021, published on Friday.
According to Sputnik, the new report aimed at exploring the influence of COVID-19 on the subjective well-being of people. According to the findings, factors most conducive to sustaining high levels of happiness in the face of the pandemic were mutual trust in each other and confidence in the government.
According to the report, Iceland, Denmark and Switzerland are second third and fourth respectively on the list with respect to the Happiest countries in the world. New Zealand (ninth) is the only non-European country in the top ten countries on the list.
The US stands 14th on the list; the UK on rank 18.
Germany has jumped from 17th to seventh place in the last year.
Croatia, which was among the destinations where face-to-face interviews were able to take place, rose from number 79 to 23 on the list, according to CNN citing the report.
"Surprisingly there was not, on average, a decline in well-being when measured by people's own evaluation of their lives. One possible explanation is that people see COVID-19 as a common, outside threat affecting everybody and that this has generated a greater sense of solidarity and fellow-feeling," John Helliwell, one of the editors of the report and a professor in the University of British Columbia, said in a statement as reported by Sputnik.
The World Happiness Report, conducted annually since 2012, is calculated based on such measurements as GDP per capita, level of social support, life expectancy, observance of civil liberties, job security, level of corruption, as well as the results of public opinion polls.
According to CNN, the report suggests that the average age of a country's population, whether it's an island, and its proximity to other highly-infected countries were contributing factors in the disparity between death rates globally.
"The East Asian experience shows that stringent government policies not only control Covid-19 effectively but also buffer the negative impact of daily infections on people's happiness," said report contributor Professor Shun Wang of the Korea Development Institute.
Of the 149 countries featured on the report, Afghanistan was ranked the most unhappy once again, followed by Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Botswana. (ANI)