Happiness Index 2021

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 7, 2022, 11:25

The Happiness Index 2021 was released on 20th March 2021. It ranked 149 countries based on how happy their citizens consider themselves to be. Finland topped the list for the 4th time with a happiness score of 7.84. India ranked 139 on the list (score 3.82). It had ranked 144 in 2020(score 3.57).

The World Happiness Report is issued and published annually by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). It publishes the world's happiness index using the data from Gallup World Poll.

The happiness index shows six key variables that contribute to the total score. The scores are compared against 'Dystopia,' an imaginary country with the lowest scores on each variable. The six variables are:

  • Real GDP per capita
  • Social support
  • Healthy life expectancy
  • Freedom to make life choices
  • Generosity
  • Perceptions of corruption

World Happiness Index 2021

  • 2021 marked the 9th World Happiness Report.
  • This year, the report focused on the effects of Covid-19 on the structure and quality of life. It also evaluated how countries all over the world dealt with the pandemic.
  • Finland was once again ranked the happiest country globally, followed by Iceland, Denmark, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
  • India's rank has deteriorated over the years. In 2013 it had ranked 111. Since then, it has been consistently declining, occupying the 139th position in 2021.
  • The ranking of India's neighbours are as follows:
    • Pakistan- 105
    • Bangladesh- 101
    • China – 84
    • Nepal- 87
  • The citizens of war-torn Afghanistan are the least happy of all. It is followed by Zimbabwe (148), Rwanda (147), Botswana (146), and Lesotho (145).
  • The United States occupied 19th place.
  • The report's editors were John Helliwell, Richard Layard, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Jan-Emmanuel De Neve. Lara Aknin, Shun Wang, and Sharon Paculor was the associate editor.

World Happiness Index 2021- Top 20 Happiest Countries

Rank

Countries

Happiness Score

1

Finland

7.842

2

Denmark

7.620

3

Switzerland

7.571

4

Iceland

7.554

5

Netherlands

7.464

6

Norway

7.392

7

Sweden

7.363

8

Luxembourg

7.324

9

New Zealand

7.277

10

Austria

7.268

11

Australia

7.183

12

Israel

7.157

13

Germany

7.155

14

Canada

7.103

15

Ireland

7.085

16

Costa Rica

7.069

17

United Kingdom

7.064

18

Czech Republic

6.965

19

United States

6.951

20

Belgium

6.834

World Happiness Index 2021- 5 Least Happiest Countries

Rank

Countries

Happiness Score

149

Afghanistan

2.523

148

Zimbabwe

3.145

147

Rwanda

3.415

146

Botswana

3.467

145

Lesotho

3.512

India's Ranking over the Years

Year

Ranking

Happiness Score

2013

111

4.772

2015

117

4.565

2016

118

4.404

2017

122

4.315

2018

133

4.190

2019

140

4.015

2020

144

3.573

2021

139

3.819

Happiness Index 2021- History

  • The first Happiness Report was released on 1st April 2012. It served as a foundational text for the UN meeting on Well-being and Happiness. The 2nd and 3rd World Happiness Reports were issued in 2013 and 2015, respectively.
  • The report started being published on an annual basis in 2016.
  • It is issued on 20th March each year to coincide with the UN's International Day of Happiness.

Happiness Index 2021- Methodology

  • The countries are ranked based on data drawn from Gallup Poll and other surveys such as the World Values Survey.
  • The Gallup World Poll questionnaire has questions to measure 14 core areas:
  • business and economics
  • citizen engagement
  • communication and technology
  • diversity (social issues)
  • education and families
  • emotions (well-being)
  • environment and energy
  • food and shelter
  • government and politics
  • law and order (safety)
  • health
  • religion and ethics
  • transportation
  • work
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FAQs on Happiness Index 2021

Q.1) Which is the current happiest country as per the Happiness Index 2021?

Ans: Finland is the happiest country with a happiness score of 7.84

Q.2) The World Happiness Index 2021ranked India in which position?

Ans: The World Happiness Index 2021 ranked India in 139th position with a score of 3.82.

Q.3) Which is the least happy country according to the happy index 2021?

Ans: The least happy country is Afghanistan, with a score of 2.523.