The World’s Happiest Country Of 2021 Has Been Revealed

Photo: Getty Images
Covid-19 has had a devastating global impact, but it hasn't changed the world's happiest country.
For the sixth year in a row, Finland has topped the World Happiness Report compiled by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Iceland places second on this year's list, followed by Denmark in third. Switzerland and the Netherlands also make the top five.
Sponsored by the UN, the World Happiness Report asks people from 149 countries to rate their own happiness.
It also factors in six different variables: life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom, corruption and the country's GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
Advertisement
Co-author John Helliwell said that in Finland, people's assessment of their own well-being had "surprisingly" stayed much the same year-on-year. "One possible explanation is that people see Covid-19 as a common, outside threat affecting everybody and that this has generated a greater sense of solidarity and fellow-feeling," he said.
The UK finishes 13th on this year's list – down four places from 2020. The report notes that in the UK, reports of mental health problems were 47% higher in May 2020 than before the pandemic.
When Finland topped the World Happiness Index in 2018, Refinery29 spoke to 29-year-old Penny Polak, a marketing specialist and beauty blogger, about life in the Nordic country.
"For quality of life, I'm not at all surprised that Finland would rank at the top of the list," she said. "The healthcare system is great, education is free, you get five weeks of paid holiday every year, sick leave is paid, maternity leave is guaranteed and paternity leave is encouraged."
Finland is also a famously "egalitarian" country where everyone goes to free state-run schools because fee-paying private schools aren't allowed. Polak added: "I feel like I have a lot of opportunity and it's up to me to create a happy life for myself. I don't see a lot of obstacles in the way of that and feel that I have the resources to create a life I want."

More from Living

R29 Original Series

Advertisement