The World Forum - July 21st, 2024

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COVID did not affect happiness around the world, study reveals


People around the world did not report being more unhappy during the COVID pandemic than in the years before it, according to a study.

Published on 20 March - International Day of Happiness - the 2023 World Happiness Report revealed positive emotions outweighed negative ones at a rate of two to one in the years from 2020 to 2022.

People were asked to rank their happiness on a scale of one to ten, and gave scores over the pandemic years that were just as high as in the previous years.

The polling, conducted by Gallup, also found feelings of positive social support were twice as strong as feelings of loneliness.

For the second year in a row, acts of kindness that both led to and stemmed from greater happiness were above pre-pandemic levels.

These acts include helping a stranger, donating to charity and volunteering.

Finland was ranked the happiest country - the sixth year in a row it's held the top spot.

The UK was ranked at 19, having dropped down the list for four years in a row.

Afghanistan remained at the bottom of the list, with Lebanon in second-last place.

The top ten countries are:

1. Finland

2. Denmark

3. Iceland

4. Israel

5. Netherlands

6. Sweden

7. Norway

8. Switzerland

9. Luxembourg

10. New Zealand