It’s been a tough few years, so it’s easy to imagine people all over the world aren’t exactly at their happiest, but just how happy are they?
Funny you should ask…
The map uses average scores from 2019 to 2021 and highlights the cheeriest nations… and the most unhappy.
The numbers represent data from thousands of responses in each country. Those individuals were asked to rate their subjective well-being by using the Cantril life ladder.
The report also uses regression analysis to look at how those scores could be explained. It takes into account social support, life expectancy, the freedom to make life choices, generosity, GDP per capita, perceptions of corruption, and positive and negative effects. The report also takes COVID-19 into consideration.
So let’s get to the nitty-gritty.
Worldwide happiness comes in at 5.6, which is actually a bit of an uptick from last year’s report.
North America – Happy (6.3)
This includes the USA, Canada, and Mexico.
Canada fell one spot from 14th the previous year to 15th. The US climbed three spots this year and hit 6.97, just a smidge under Canada.
The Dominican Republic was the lowest score in the area; despite economic growth, the nation was slammed by the pandemic and the economy remains in peril.
South America – Content (5.8)
Uruguay remains the happiest nation in South America with its high income per capita and strong middle class. They were quick to tackle the pandemic’s schooling issue and have transitioned back to in person learning.
Colombia was the most improved last year, but this year it’s fallen 14 spots. This is mostly due to its extreme poverty and high income inequality.
Europe – Happy (6.5)
Romania soared 18 spots on the global ranking and has seen some pretty significant economic growth. It was also able to pull out of a COVID-19 downturn.
Ukraine, perhaps not unsurprisingly, is in last place and the least happy place in Europe. Russia launched an unprovoked attack and invasion of Ukraine in 2022 and over 3 million people have fled their homes.
Ireland looks great with a high rating!
Middle East and Central Asia – It’s Complicated (5.2)
Turkmenistan has climbed 19 spots on the ranking since last year due to its economic boom. In 2021 the nation’s GDP ballooned by 6.3%.
But other countries, such as Lebanon, have been dealing with repeated issues. COVID-19 hit hard and then in August of 2020 a huge explosion shook the capital, Beirut.
East Asia & Oceania – Neutral (5.6)
China has climbed 12 spots on the ranking, which makes it the most improved nation in this region. The Chinese government has made several policy changes to try to combat inequality and poverty.
Thailand is the least improved in the area because of COVID-19. The economic growth slowed by 6.1% and it’s not expected to rebound until 2023.
Africa – Unhappy (4.5)
Africa is the unhappiest region in the entire world. Zimbabwe is the unhappiest country within that region, likely due to struggles with high rates of poverty.
Mauritius, a tiny nation off the coast of Madagascar, is the happiest nation in the region. It became a high-income country in July of 2020 but retreated to an upper-middle income spot due to the pandemic.