Search icon


19th Mar 2021

Finland voted world’s happiest country for fourth consecutive year

Claudia McInerney

Finland is the happiest place to live worldwide

Finland has been voted the happiest place to live in the world for the fourth year running, according to survey data.

2021 has not been an easy year for any country across the globe, however Finland still managed to take the top spot, according to The World Happiness Report.

This year, the report focused on how countries came together during the public health crisis.

Describing Finland’s win, a spokesperson for The World Happiness Report said: “It has always ranked very high on the measures of mutual trust that have helped to protect lives and livelihoods during the pandemic.”

According to the annual report, which analyses levels of happiness across different nations, Finland was closely followed by Iceland, Denmark, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

The UK fell in the ranks, from being the 13th happiest place to live last year, to the 18th happiest place to live currently.

A spokesperson for the World Happiness Report said: “This whole report focuses on the effects of Covid-19 and how people all over the world have fared.

“Our aim was two-fold, first to focus on the effects of Covid-19 on the structure and quality of people’s lives, and second to describe and evaluate how governments all over the world have dealt with the pandemic. In particular, we try to explain why some countries have done so much better than others.”

The report acknowledged: “There has been greater economic insecurity, anxiety, disruption of every aspect of life, and, for many people, stress and challenges to mental and physical health.”

“For the world as a whole, based on the annual data from the Gallup World Poll, there was no overall change in positive affect, but there was a roughly 10% increase in the number of people who said they were worried or sad the previous day,” the report said.

John Helliwell, who worked on this year’s report, said: “Surprisingly there was not, on average, a decline in well-being when measured by people’s own evaluation of their lives.

“One possible explanation,” he said. “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.”