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People may be coming out of the pandemic nicer: World Happiness Report

This was the 11th edition of the World Happiness Report; ten years since the first International Happiness Day

People’s joy in helping strangers remains higher than before the pandemic, according to the latest issue of the World Happiness Report.

John Helliwell, a professor emeritus at the Vancouver School of Economics, has been on working on the global happiness report for over a decade and says that “the level of resiliency of life evaluations was very considerable” through the pandemic.

“In 2022, the levels of benevolence to others, especially the happiness of doing something to help strangers, was still more than a quarter above what it was in the pre-pandemic years,” he said.

Helliwell said the report found that a support system and the goodness of others can both help people in crisis. He’s excited to share his findings at the various conferences he has coming up, including one in September at the University of Pennsylvania.

If anyone is to take one highlight away from this year’s report, Helliwell said it is that there needs to be a change in creating happier workplaces.

“You see the assumption is if we need a happier workplace, we have to pay them more. That’s not the point at all,” he said.

“You have to have to flatten your your power structures and … flatten your pay structure so you’re not the top on the bottom, you’re all in this together.”

Another discussion featured in the report is what the next ten years of the World Happiness Report will focus on, namely mental health.

“The (words), mental health, has been taken over in a way to become a codename for mental illness. And, of course, the whole purpose of positive psychology and of our report is to emphasize that establishing the positives is more important than just merely eliminating negatives.”

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Helliwell and his team are already preparing for the report’s 2024 edition.

“We have to choose the topics, find the authors, go back and forth, and the design of the chapters and get ours all set up as the various waves of data come through.”

The full report can be found at