What really makes people happy? While countless academic researchers have tried to get to the bottom of this, the truth is, it’s a complicated question to answer.
As Visual Capitalist’s Carmen Ang details below, happiness levels depend on a number of factors, including one’s financial security, perceptions of social support, feelings of personal freedom, and much more.
This map pulls data from the World Happiness Report to uncover the average happiness scores of 146 countries. It shows average scores from 2019 to 2021, and highlights which countries are the happiest—or unhappiest—and why.
How is Happiness Measured?
Before diving in, let’s briefly touch on how happiness levels are measured in this report. Some clear indicators are health and wealth, which are measured using key metrics like GDP per capita and life expectancy rates.
The report also looks at more intangible aspects by collecting survey responses from each country, to gauge things like:
Freedom to make life choices
Perceptions of government/ business corruption
Similar to last year, the report takes special considerations to track how COVID-19 has impacted aspects of our daily lives, and how it’s affected global happiness levels.
Editor’s note: there are several countries covered in last year’s report that were not included in this year’s dataset, including Haiti, Maldives, and Burundi.
Zooming in: Regional Happiness Levels