(CNN) — Devastating loss of life and growing uncertainty have the world very much on edge, but there is a bit of good news for humanity: Benevolence is surging globally.
That’s one of the key findings of the World Happiness Report, a publication of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network that draws on global survey data from people in about 150 countries.
Marking its 10th anniversary, the report looks at happiness around the world — the happiest nations, those at the very bottom of the happiness scale and everything in between, plus the factors that tend to lead to greater happiness.
And with two years of Covid-19 pandemic data on the books, the report has uncovered something unexpected.
«The big surprise was that globally, in an uncoordinated way, there have been very large increases in all the three forms of benevolence that are asked about in the Gallup World Poll,» John Helliwell, one of the report’s three founding editors, told CNN Travel.
Donating to charity, helping a stranger and volunteering are all up, «especially the help to strangers in 2021, relative to either before the pandemic or 2020, by a very large amount in all regions of the world,» said Helliwell, who is a professor emeritus at the Vancouver School of Economics, University of British Columbia.
The global average of the three measures jumped by about 25% in 2021 compared with pre-pandemic levels, the report says.