A UN-sponsored report has named Switzerland the third happiest country in the world for the second year running. This year’s report also looked at the effects of Covid-19 on people’s wellbeing.
Switzerland comes in behind Finland and Denmark, according to the World Happiness Report 2021External link released on Friday. Finland has come top for the fourth year running, in a ranking topped mainly by European countries. They occupy the top ten places, with the exception of New Zealand (in ninth place).
Germany came 13th, the UK 17th, the US 19th and France 21st. Bottom of the ranking of some 150 countries is Afghanistan.
The study, published annually since 2012, mainly uses Gallup opinion polls asking people about their own level of happiness, cross-referenced with GDP and assessments of the level of solidarity, individual freedom and corruption.
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”, say the authors. “The World Happiness Report 2021 reminds us that we must aim for wellbeing rather than mere wealth, which will be fleeting indeed if we don’t do a much better job of addressing the challenges of sustainable development.”
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