Despite claiming millions of lives, causing economic turmoil and prompting restrictive lockdowns, the pandemic has triggered ‘a surge in benevolence’, according to the latest World Happiness Report.
It suggests that despite the hardships brought on by Covid, global happiness levels have remained resilient, with altruism increasing.
“For a second year, we see that various forms of everyday kindness, such as helping a stranger, donating to charity, and volunteering are above pre-pandemic levels,” noted Prof Lara Aknin, director of the Happiness Lab at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada.
Measuring global happiness is a notoriously tricky business as people have different definitions of what makes them happy. Researchers interviewed tens of thousands of people and tried to identify what contributes to their satisfaction. They found that social support, healthy life expectancy, the economy, freedom to make life choices and freedom from corruption were the main drivers of happiness.
This year’s edition once again ranked Finland the world’s happiest nation, followed by Denmark and Iceland. It is the fourth consecutive year in which the UK has dropped down the table. It now stands 19th.
Image: Andrea Tummons