Lithuania is in the top 20 happiest countries in the world: we’re like Germans or Belgians

Happy life. By Tabreez from Unsplash

A United Nations study reveals that Lithuania is among the 20 happiest countries in the world: its compatriots are as happy as the Germans and Belgians, and we even surpassed the French. This result makes sociologists raise their eyebrows because, in a previous happiness index study six years ago, Lithuania was 30 positions lower, Yoanna Koleva is writing at the news portal.

Another survey by Baltic Research shows the exact opposite result – 8 out of 10 Lithuanians say things are getting worse in the country, and people are dissatisfied with the economic situation and the Government.

A new United Nations survey shows Lithuania ranks 20th among the world’s happiest countries. The study shows that the happiness index of our compatriots is similar to that of the Germans, the Belgians and the British and that we have even surpassed the French.

Lithuanians were asked whether they feel happy about their economic situation, mental and physical health, and their trust in others and the Government. And whether they donate money to charity.

We asked Vilnius residents whether they are happy and satisfied with their life in Lithuania:

“I agree because Lithuanians have never lived as well as they do now.”

“Vilnius will probably have a higher happiness rating because it includes economic factors. They are better in big cities.”

“I would say higher than 20. But it depends on each person.”

“We live in a free Lithuania, and we live well, better than our parents and grandparents did before. That’s the main factor here.”

“I feel this way, and I think Lithuania has good living conditions. So it is not surprising.”

“I think everything is good here, but many people are crying. And the way we live now, God forbid it should be worse.”

“I’m happy to be in my home country. That’s my reason for Lithuania.”

“I think it is clear that there are all kinds of situations in Lithuania. But from my social bubble in Vilnius or in the big cities – all my friends are happy.”

“If you look at the quality of life in the last decade, it has improved greatly, so we have a lot to be happy about.”

“We are not complaining, and we are living well, really.”

“It seems to me that nothing should be lacking. Let’s be happy that we are safe.”

But some say that we are a long way from the British and Germans:

“I don’t think so, and I don’t feel that happy in Lithuania. I don’t know.”

“There is a lack of normal Government. Maybe we could start by raising wages at least a little.”

“I would disagree because we don’t have the same income as the Belgians and the French. So I might agree that young people live like that, but I wouldn’t agree with the elderly.”

“I don’t think that’s a fair calculation, and it seems to me that people are sadder.”

“I think it’s below average because we don’t have enough money for food. So we go to the market and choose what is cheaper.”

“They should care more for the elderly, young people, and schoolchildren.”

“When the neo-Bolsheviks are not in power, we will live.”

“The difference is very big. The social guarantees are different. Everything is lacking, maybe higher salaries.”

Sociologist Artūras Tereškinas, a professor at VMU, says that the international survey results are astonishing, as Lithuania’s happiness index was significantly worse in 2017. But now Lithuania has jumped up 30 positions – from 52nd to 20th. No other country’s happiness index has risen so much.

“This shows that the years when the survey was conducted – 2020-2022 – changed people’s attitudes towards how they perceive satisfaction with life, how they perceive their attitude towards the state, their profession, the income they earn, and how they perceive their trust in others and in the government,” says Tereshkin.

According to Tereškinas, several factors have made Lithuanians happier. One is GDP per capita income, which has grown significantly. Much more than in neighbouring Estonia and Latvia. Another reason is the goodwill and mobilisation that came first with the pandemic and later with the war in Ukraine.

“All these challenges, from the pandemic to the war in Ukraine, seem to have united. Perhaps these challenges, the difficult international situation, have led to a kind of mobilisation,” says Tereshkin.

Another Baltic Research survey shows the exact opposite result. 8 out of 10 Lithuanians think things are worsening in the country. 80% of respondents do not trust the Seimas, and 70% the Government. However, 77% of Lithuanians trust the Lithuanian Armed Forces the most.

“If you look at the current Lithuanian surveys, the Baltic ones, which talk about the deteriorating situation, the lack of trust in the Government, it is very contradictory to those international surveys. However, one can assume that the international survey is more about subjective well-being and satisfaction with life, and people simply answered quite subjectively. At the same time, the Baltic surveys looked at this kind of general social context and situation in society. So maybe that’s what made it stand out”, explains Tereshkin.

However, the sociologist advises looking critically at all happiness-related studies. When people are asked about happiness, in many cases, the answer can be determined by the emotions or mood they are experiencing at the time, which can fluctuate and change. And the answer will be determined by it at the time.

You may like

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.