Ireland ranked just ahead of the United States in this World Happiness Report.
Both countries performed better this year than last year, with Ireland climbing from 16th on the list in 2020 to 13th and the US moving from 18th to 14th.
Finland remains the happiest country in the world for the fourth year in a row. It was followed by Iceland, Denmark, Switzerland and the Netherlands, CNN reports.
The World Happiness Report, which began in 2012, is an annual survey conducted by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Powered by data from the Gallup World Survey, the results are based on gross domestic product (GDP) levels, longevity, generosity, social support and freedom in 149 countries.
However, due to the pandemic this year, researchers were unable to conduct face-to-face interviews, so the 2021 survey focused on the relationship between COVID-19 and well-being to rank countries, reports Forbes.
According to the researchers of the report: “The World Happiness Report 2021 focuses on the effects of COVID-19 and how people around the world have come out. Our goal was twofold, first to focus on the effects of COVID-19 on the structure and quality of life of “People, and secondly to describe and evaluate how governments around the world have dealt with the pandemic. In particular, we try to explain why some countries have done much better than others.”
British Columbia University professor John Helliwell, one of the contributors to the report, said: “Surprisingly there was, on average, a decline in well-being when measured by people’s own appreciation of their lives.”
“One possible explanation is that people see COVID-19 as a common, outside threat that affects everyone, and that this has generated a greater sense of solidarity and empathy.”
Here are the 20 best happy places in the world in 2021:
5. The Netherlands
9. New Zealand
14. United States
16. Czech Republic
18. United Kingdom
The full World Happiness Report 2021 can be found here
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