To say the past year has been a difficult one for people across the globe is something of an understatement.
Not only has the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the deaths of over 2.6 million people worldwide, it has also led to a massive shakeup in everyday life for many of us.
But despite the devastating events of the last 12 months and the resulting decline in mental health in a number of destinations, there’s 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.
It’s worth noting that the World Happiness Report 2021 has been collated slightly differently this time round due to coronavirus.
Not only were researchers unable to complete face-to-face interviews in a number of countries, they also had to switch things up entirely by focusing on the relationship between wellbeing and COVID-19.
The report has been primarily based on levels of GDP, life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom and corruption income since it launched in 2012.
Although there have been some changes in the top 10, with Iceland rising two places from fourth to second on the list and Norway dropping from fifth to eighth place, the rankings were strikingly similar to the previous year for the most part, which is viewed as a positive sign.
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 happiest countries 2021
- New Zealand
- United States
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom