The United Nations International Day of Happiness is celebrated tomorrow – and to get us all in the mood, the 2021 World Happiness Report has been published showing the happiest countries on the planet – Covid be-damned.
Portugal sadly is nowhere near the Top 20, but the country climbed two slots since last year, sitting in a rather apathetic 58th place – but at least well ahead of Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Jordan and Ruanda.
Because of the pandemic, researchers this year were not able to conduct face-to-face interviews, so they focused on the relationship between well-being and Covid-19 in order to rank countries.
Said University of British Columbia professor John Helliwell, one of the people behind the report: “Surprisingly there was not on average a decline in well-being when measured by people’s own evaluation of their lives. 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”.
Despite Portugal not making it anywhere near the Top 20, the Top 10 are all countries in Europe. The ‘big surprise’ of the year has to be China, which last year ranked 94th for happiness, and this year has catapulted to slot 19.
Say researchers, this shows that “stringent government policies not only control Covid-19 effectively but also buffer the negative impact of daily infections on people’s happiness”.
There were similar success rates in Australia, which ranks in 12th place and New Zealand, slot 9.
Says the report’s editors: “The evidence shows that people’s morale improves when the government acts”.
So here is the list of the world’s 20 happiest nations:
World’s 20 Happiest Countries
- New Zealand
- United States
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
And here is a link to the report (click here).