The World Happiness Report is an annual list powered by data from the Gallup World Poll.
The 2021 report focused on pandemic effects on the quality and structure of people’s lives and how governments worldwide reacted and dealt with it.
For the fourth year running, Finland came out on top, with Iceland, Denmark, Switzerland, and the Netherlands following in that order. It has been suggested that Nordic countries historically rank so highly because of the support their governments give them. They seem to have hit the nail on the head when it comes to work-life balance, one of the key contributors for happiness.
Sadly, along with the happiest countries in the world, the report also looked at the places where people are the most miserable. There were some common themes – underdeveloped countries with war, armed conflict, political instability or natural catastrophes.
Afghanistan’s low life expectancy rate and the sad state of its economy were key reasons in making it the lowest-scoring country. Zimbabwe, experiencing its worst economic crisis in a decade, came with the second lowest rank.
Happily, I think Australia can still claim its ‘lucky country’ mantle. It was named the 12th happiest country in the world for the second consecutive year.
Australians have a lot to be grateful for.
Nearly 13.1 million of us are employed.
The RBA talks of maintaining low-interest rates until at least 2024 and this security that mortgage costs won’t increase rapidly in the short term borrowers less nervous about the large amounts they need.
While house prices had their steepest increase in almost 18 years in the first quarter of 2021, an REA Insights report shows that despite rising prices, it’s still cheaper to buy than rent in nearly 57 per cent of all properties across Australia.
And just before the budget announcement, Josh Frydenberg had said the Australian economy had outperformed all major advanced economies around the world over the last 12 months. The Australian economy is recovering well. Housing is now worth more than $ 8 trillion.
Australia, like New Zealand, is one of the few countries around the world which has managed to keep COVID-19 infections low, re-open the economy without any major second waves, and get the recovery phase underway.
Clearly, all of this must have a significant impact on our happiness, as is reflected in the World Happiness Report.
The top 20 happiest countries in the world
- New Zealand
- United States
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom