It is that time of year again when the World Happiness Report is announced which includes the list of the happiest countries of 2021, and as you might see from the title; a nordic country has come out on top.
I am happy to announce that yet again, Finland has been crowned the happiest country according to the 2021 World Happiness Report by the UN released today! This is in fact the fourth year in a row Finland is the winner. This report is based on measuring how happy people are and why, and it is interesting to see yet again that all the five Nordic countries are in the top 10 and the happiest places on earth. In fact, the Nordic countries have been dominating the top spots in this report for all of the nine years it has been published and made a habit of swapping places on the top each year. Three of the region’s countries have been crowned in the past five years: Denmark, Norway and Finland.
This year, the World Happiness Report focuses on the effects of COVID-19 and how people all over the world have fared. The aim was first to focus on the effects of COVID-19 on the structure and quality of people’s lives, as well as to describe and evaluate how governments all over the world have dealt with the pandemic. In particular, it has been important to try to explain why some countries have done so much better than others. If you want to read the full report you can find it here.
The top 20 happiest countries 2021;
(With the 2020 ranking in brackets)
- Finland (1)
- Iceland (4)
- Denmark (2)
- Switzerland (3)
- The Netherlands (6)
- Sweden (7)
- Germany (17)
- Norway (5)
- New Zealand (8)
- Austria (9)
- Israel (14)
- Australia (12)
- Ireland (16)
- United States (18)
- Canada (11)
- Czech Republic (19)
- Belgium (20)
- United Kingdom (13)
- China (94)
- France (23)
The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness that ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. This year’s Happiness Report was faced with a unique challenge in trying to understand what effect the pandemic has had on subjective well-being and vice versa. The report focuses on the effects of COVID-19 on happiness and how countries have differed in their success in reducing the deaths and maintaining connected and healthy societies. The countries that performed best in minimising the direct death toll from COVID-19 were also able to do better on other fronts, including income, employment, and the mental and physical health of the rest of the population.
It is no surprise that Finland is yet again on the top of the list – it has always ranked very high on the measures of mutual trust, a factor that in 2020 have helped to protect lives and livelihoods during the pandemic.
“Surprisingly there was not, on average, a decline in well-being when measured by people’s own evaluation of their lives,” said John Helliwell. “One possible explanation is that people see COVID-19 as a common, outside threat affecting everybody and that this has generated a greater sense of solidarity and fellow-feeling.”
What do you think of the list and where did your country come on it?
// Photo credit: (top) Olivier Darny from Pexels (bottom) Ingrid Opstad