To determine the happiest country in the world, researchers analyzed extensive Gallup polling data from 149 countries for the past three years, specifically monitoring performance in six specific categories:
- GDP per capita,
- Social support,
- Healthy life expectancy,
- Freedom to make one’s own life choices,
- The generosity of the general population, and
- Perception of the level of internal and external corruption.
Happiest Countries in the World 2022 | Which countries are the happiest people in the world and why?
To properly compare the data for each country, the researchers created a fictional country—named dystopia—filled with “the world’s least-happy people.” They then set the dystopia in each of the six categories as a rock bottom value and measured the scores of real-world countries against this value. All six categories were then mixed to form a single combined score for each country.
Interestingly, the top seven happiest countries in the world for 2021 were all Northern European countries. Finland took the top honors for the fourth year in a row—with an overall score of 7.842, followed (in order) by Denmark (7.620), Switzerland (7.571), Iceland (7.554), the Netherlands (7.464), Norway (7.392). ), and Sweden (7.363).
The least happy country in the world for 2021 was Afghanistan, whose 149th ranking of 2.523 can be attributed to low life expectancy rates and low per capita GDP rates.
It is worth noting that the report was released before the recent Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, which will undoubtedly affect future scores in some way or another. Those in the bottom five rounds are Zimbabwe (3.145), Rwanda (3.415), Botswana (3.467), and Lesotho (3.512). Scroll through the table below for a complete list of all 149 countries and their rankings. To learn more about the top seven — plus an inspiring honorable mention — read on.
The top 7 happiest countries in the world for 2021 (plus an inspiring honorable mention):
Finland ranks as the happiest country in the world based on the 2021 report, with a score of 7.842 out of a total possible score of 10. The report authors credit Finland’s citizens for not only helping to secure strong feelings of communal support and mutual trust. 1 ranking, but (more importantly) helping the country navigate the COVID-19 pandemic as a whole. Additionally, Finnish people felt strongly that they were free to make their own choices, and they showed minimal suspicion of government corruption. Both these factors have a strong contribution to overall happiness.
Denmark ranks second among the world’s happiest countries, with Denmark having an overall score of 7.620. The Danish values for each of the six variables are quite comparable to the Finland values. In fact, Denmark even surpassed the leader in a number of categories, including GDP per capita, generosity, and perceived lack of corruption, indicating that it could claim the top spot sometime in the near future.
Switzerland is ranked third in the list of happiest countries and has an overall score of 7.571 out of 10. In general, the Swiss are very healthy, and have one of the world’s lowest obesity rates and a long life expectancy. The average salary of the Swiss is also very high, about 75% higher than in the United States, and has the highest GDP per capita in the top seven. Additionally, Switzerland has a strong sense of community and a strong belief that it is a safe and clean country—which is statistically true. Switzerland (along with Denmark and Iceland) is considered the safest country in the world.
Iceland is the fourth happiest country in the world for 2021, with an overall score of 7.554. Among the top seven happiest countries around the world, Iceland has the highest sense of social support (even more so than Finland, Norway, and Denmark, which all tied for second place). Iceland ranks second among liberal countries in the top seven. But it is only 11th place worldwide which is an important fact.
With a score of 7.464, Norway is replaced by the Netherlands (also known as Holland to many tulip lovers) out of the ranks of the fifth happiest country in the world. The Netherlands scored higher in the generosity category than any other top-seven country and also displayed an impressive lack of perceived corruption.
Citizens of Norway in sixth place (7.392) feel they are being well looked after by their government for universal health care and free college tuition. Norwegians also enjoy a healthy work-life balance, working an average of 38 hours per week versus 41.5. hours per week in the United States.
Additionally, Norway has a low crime rate and a strong sense of community among its citizens – a quality it shares with many of the top seven.
Sweden (7.363) in seventh place ranks high, if not quite the highest, in almost every category measured. For example, Sweden has a higher lack of corruption scores than four countries around the world (two of which are Finland and Denmark), has the fourteenth highest GDP per capita of all 149 countries, and has the fourth highest life expectancy. top seven.
Honorable Mention: Bhutan
Bhutan was excluded from the 2021 report for technical reasons: each country’s scores are based on detailed Gallup polls, but Gallup did not vote in Bhutan during the required time frame. However, the report’s authors made a special effort to pay tribute to Bhutan, saying that “it once again provides an inspirational example to the world on how to combine health and happiness. made clear use of the principles of Gross National Happiness.
Despite having strong international travel links, the population in really impressive collaborative efforts to avoid a single COVID-19 death in 2020.” If Gallup starts voting in Bhutan, Northern Europe’s grip on happiness may soon come into competition. can.