For the fourth year in a row, Finland has ranked top in the annual World Happiness Report, with New Zealand the only non-European nation in the top 10… again!
Finland ranked happiest country in the world – again
Finland has been named the happiest place in the world for a fourth year running, in an annual UN-sponsored report. The World Happiness Report saw Denmark in second place, then Switzerland, Iceland and the Netherlands. New Zealand was again the only non-European nation in the top 10. The UK fell from 13th to 17th place. Data from analytics researcher Gallup asked people in 149 countries to rate their own happiness. Measures including social support, personal freedom, gross domestic product (GDP) and perceived levels of corruption were also factored in. — BBC
This year’s report focuses primarily on the relationship between well-being and the pandemic
Finland has once again retained its coveted title as the worlds happiest country. It marks the fourth year in a row the Nordic nation has claimed the top spot, even amid a global health crisis.
Despite the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in all areas of life, many of the highest-ranked countries in terms of overall happiness have remained at the top of the list, according to the 2021 World Happiness Report, released Friday 19 March, the day before the International Day of Happiness.
This year’s report focuses primarily on the relationship between well-being and the pandemic, which made collecting responses from around the world particularly challenging. The editors note that on top of the pandemic’s terrible toll of 2.6 million deaths globally, people all over the world are also dealing with greater economic insecurity, anxiety, stress, challenges to mental and physical health and an overall disruption of every aspect of daily life.
Afghanistan was once again ranked the most unhappy of the 149 countries surveyed
Despite the devastating events of the last 12 months and the resulting decline in mental health in a number of destinations, there has been no change at the top spot when it comes to ranking the happiest country in the world.
For the fourth year running, Finland has come out on top in the annual list powered by data from the Gallup World Poll, with Iceland, Denmark, Switzerland, and the Netherlands following in second, third, fourth and fifth position respectively.
While the United States moved up from 18th to 14th place and the United Kingdom dropped from 13th to 18th, Australia held its 12th place position. Other notable movements on the list include Germany, which has jumped from 17th to seventh place in the last year. Croatia, which was among the destinations where face-to-face interviews were able to take place, rose from number 79 to 23 on the list.
Of the 149 countries featured on the report, Afghanistan was ranked the most unhappy once again, followed by Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Botswana. Those at the bottom of the list were mainly underdeveloped countries where issues such as political and armed conflicts are prevalent, or have been in recent times.
World’s Top 20 happiest countries 2021
9. New Zealand
14. United States
16. Czech Republic
18. United Kingdom
How this year’s happiness survey differed
Published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a global initiative for the United Nations, the 2021 World Happiness Report looked a little different from previous years, as it focused on the effects of COVID-19 and how people around the world have fared.
Aside from the usual criteria, the 2021 report analysed people’s emotional responses to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, how governments dealt with it and how trust in government itself related to happiness levels.
"Our aim was two-fold: first, to focus on the effects of COVID-19 on the structure and quality of people’s lives, and second, to describe and evaluate how governments all over the world have dealt with the pandemic. In particular, we try to explain why some countries have done so much better than others," the report stated.
DOWNLOAD THE WORLD HAPPINESS REPORT 2021
This is the ninth World Happiness Report. The World Happiness Report was written by a group of independent experts acting in their personal capacities. (Report also contains stunning photos)