Canada drops four spots to become 15th happiest country in the world

Apr 8, 2021 | Life, News

Canada dropped four spots in the past year becoming the 15th happiest country in the world in this year’s World Happiness Report by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network of the United Nations.

Although Finland was named the happiest country in the world for a second year, Canada fell back to the 15th spot from its 11th position in 2020.

Iceland and Denmark ranked second and third happiest countries respectively.

The report, published on March 19, stated this year’s findings focused on the effects of COVID-19 on people’s quality of life and how governments worldwide handled the pandemic.

Also, the report also analyzed affects on mental health and workforce wellbeing

The report rated 95 based on data collected from 2020 alone, and it also listed 143 countries based on data from a three-year average collected between 2018 and 2020.

From this data, Canada was ranked 15th out of 95 countries from 2020 data compared to its 14th position among 143 countries based on a three-year average.

The editor of the World Happiness Report, John Helliwell, said during an online webinar of the launch, having both rankings could be confusing but the study wanted to look at the pandemic year in isolation.

“There have been some confusions in this year’s report because the three-year average is the official rankings,” he said. “But since 2020 is COVID-year, we wanted to look at what was happening in 2020.”

He said both rankings were kept because little changed from year-to-year.

“The three-year ranking is the appropriate one, there are only small changes between the two,” Helliwell said.

The report stated several factors, including proximity to other highly infected countries, confidence in public institutions, income inequality, and knowledge from previous pandemics, also led to variations in ranking between countries.

Richard Layard, the program co-director of the Wellbeing Programme at the London School of Economics and Political Science, also in attendance at the webinar, said the report revealed what matters to people worldwide.

“From this report, people are much more concerned about things like health and human relationships, relative to income than politicians think they are,” he said.

“The politicians that respond to what we know really matter to people by providing the support in those areas, will be the ones who get support,” Layard said.

This is the ninth edition of the World Happiness Report and contained data from Gallup World Poll, Lloyd’s Register Foundation World’s Risk Poll, and 2020 life satisfaction data collected as the COVID Data Hub.