Finland is the happiest country in the world for the fourth consecutive year. According to a ranking released on Friday (19) by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Released annually, the World Happiness Report won an extra challenge this time; measuring the impact of the new coronavirus pandemic on individual and collective well-being.
Why Finland the happiest country in the world?
According to the ranking, which is supported by the Italian company illycaffè and the Ernesto Illy Foundation; Finland’s leadership is mainly due to the confidence of the population in their communities; a factor that, in the midst of the pandemic, “contributed to preserve the well-being of people”.
Finland appears just ahead of another Nordic country, Iceland, which rose from fourth to second place; and Denmark, which fell from second to third place. The top 10 still has Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Norway, New Zealand and Austria.
Italy, the country of illycaffè, evolved from 28th to 25th position, while Brazil plummeted from 29th to 41st place.
“We support happiness studies through illycaffè and the Ernesto Illy Foundation. To understand what are the determinants of happiness and to implement them in the context of coffee. We consider happiness a prerequisite for any transition to a more sustainable society; so much so that the well-being of our stakeholders represents one of the company’s commitments “; explained Andrea Illy, president of illycaffè.
Apart from the happiest country in the world; the report also sought to understand a fundamental question: why are Covid mortality rates so different in the world? The indices, for example, are much higher in the Americas and Europe than in Asia, Oceania and Africa.
The determining factors; according to the study, include the population’s age, the fact that the country is an island or not; the proximity to other areas with high rates of contagion, but cultural differences also contribute to the analysis, such as: trust in public institutions , knowledge obtained in previous epidemics; income inequality and the presence of women in charge of the government.
East Asian Experience
“The East Asian experience shows that restrictive policies have not only effectively controlled the pandemic; but have also tackled the negative impact of daily infections bulletins on people’s happiness;” says Shun Wang, a professor at the Korean Development Institute.
However, Professor John Helliwell; from the University of British Columbia, Canada; says that the authors of the ranking were surprised to see that, on average; “there has been no decline in general well-being”.
“One possible explanation is that people see Covid-19 as a common and external threat that affects everyone and has generated a greater sense of solidarity and empathy;” adds Helliwell, who edits the happiest country in the world’s report.