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Mapped: Global Happiness Levels in 2022

Starting the week with a smile - 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.


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.

The numbers shown represent the survey data from thousands of respondents for each country, who are asked to rate their subjective well-being (happiness score) using the Cantril life ladder question. For more information on the methodology of this and technical notes, go here.

The report also does a regression analysis to look at how happiness scores could be explained, by looking at tangible and intangible factors that could factor in:

  • Social support

  • Life expectancy

  • Freedom to make life choices

  • Generosity

  • GDP per capita

  • Perceptions of corruption

  • Positive and negative affects

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.

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