France ranked 20th in the ranking of the happiest countries, its best score since the creation of the survey

Nordic countries still top this ranking, supported by the United Nations. Finland comes in pole position, followed by Denmark. Finally, we find Afghanistan.

Ranking 20th in the “World Happiness Report” 2022 rankings, France achieved its best score since the United Nations-supported list was made in 2012. The French, after two years, marked by strong restrictions tied to a pandemic world, would therefore paradoxically have never been so happy.

A limited impact of the pandemic?

This year, France received a score of 6.8 out of 10, up one place from the previous year. The survey is primarily based on a Gallup poll, in which people of a country are asked about their level of happiness. The data is then cross-referenced with assessments of GDP and levels of solidarity, individual liberty, and corruption.

“The big surprise was that on a global scale, and in a disorganized way, three forms of happiness were questioned in the Gallup polls,” one of the poll’s authors, tells CNN John Halliwell.

The biggest growth is mainly in the “helping others” category, continues this professor emeritus at the Vancouver School of Economics. The share of people volunteering to help others is thus higher than before the pandemic. So COVID-19 would have potentially made us more liberal.

Nordic Country Leading

At the top of the pack, it is the Nordic countries that are the happiest in the world this year. On the podium, we find Finland in first place, followed by Denmark and then Iceland. Norway – now in 8th place – won in 2017 ahead of Finland. Denmark also held first place for a long time.

“Finland ranks first among five Nordic countries in top 10”, writes its annual report “World Happiness Report”, which publishes its 10th edition this year.

Ranking of 40 happiest countries in 2022.
Ranking of 40 happiest countries in 2022. © World Happiness Report 2022

Finally, we find Afghanistan, which saw the return of the Taliban to power in 2021. The country receives a score of 2.404 out of 10. Lebanon, which is facing a severe economic crisis marked by galloping inflation and a dramatic humanitarian situation, comes second to last, surpassing Zimbabwe. A total of 146 countries have been assessed in this ranking.

“The three largest increases were in Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. The biggest shocks were in Lebanon, Venezuela and Afghanistan,” writes the Word Happiness report.


Among the major economic powers, we find Germany at 14th, United States at 16th and United Kingdom at 17th. The Japanese are only 54th, behind Uzbekistan or Chile, and the Chinese at 72nd. Beijing has nevertheless secured the 12th rank this year.

Jeffrey Sachs, one of the survey’s co-authors, commented, “The lesson of the World Happiness Report in recent years is that social cohesion, generosity among people and honesty in government are vital to well-being.” “World leaders should take this into account,” he explains.

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About the Author: Forrest Morton

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