Nicht glücklich: Germany drops down the 2022 World Happiness ranking

Nicht glücklich: Germany drops down the 2022 World Happiness ranking

Last year, the World Happiness Report in 2021 saw Germany claim the title of the seventh-happiest country in the world. However, in this year’s iteration, Germany has slipped back down the rankings, falling out of the top 10 into 14th place.

The World Happiness Report 2022

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network has once again released its annual World Happiness Report. This year, the report ranked 146 countries by the perceived happiness of their citizens. The 10th iteration of the annual report is titled, “Happiness, benevolence, and trust during COVID-19 and beyond", and looks at the the long-term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and how it affected people’s happiness and wellbeing.

The report uses the Gallup World Poll as its principal source of information, with this year’s report using data from 2019, 2020 and 2021. Respondents of the Gallup World Poll were asked to evaluate their current happiness in life, giving it a score from 1 (being the worst possible life) to 10 (being the best). The report gathered around 1.000 responses from each country and calculated a weighted, population-representative national average for each year. The happiness ranking is then based on the three-year average for each country.

Once again, Finland soared ahead of the competition, coming in first place for the fifth year in a row. Finland is joined by its Scandinavian neighbours, with Denmark taking second place and Iceland taking third. Switzerland was ranked the fourth happiest country in the world, and the Netherlands rounded off the top five.

Germany drops down the rankings

Despite climbing 10 places in the 2021 edition to claim the title of seventh-happiest country, Germany has slipped back down the rankings this year, falling to 14th place. With a score of 7,034 out of 10, Germany finds itself behind the likes of Ireland, Austria, New Zealand and Israel.

The report also includes six metrics that, although not used to discern public happiness and create the ranking, help explain the placement of each country. The six metrics are: GDP per capita, Social Support, Healthy Life Expectancy, Freedom to Make Life Choices, Generosity and Perceptions of Corruption. Germany mainly averaged similar scores to the countries above it across all categories except for Generosity and Freedom of Life Choices, in which it noticeably underperformed.

Germany’s poor performance in this year’s report is perhaps unsurprising, since the federal republic was hit particularly hard by coronavirus in recent years. The country went through a number of lockdowns which saw shops, restaurants and a myriad of other public services and institutions close, as well as the strict contact regulations imposed on citizens and residents of Germany.

The 10 happiest countries in the world in 2022

According to the World Happiness Report 2022, the 10 happiest countries in the world are:

  1. Finland (7,821)
  2. Denmark (7,636)
  3. Iceland (7,55)
  4. Switzerland (7,512)
  5. The Netherlands (7,415)
  6. Luxembourg (7,404)
  7. Sweden (7,384)
  8. Norway (7,365)
  9. Israel (7,364)
  10. New Zealand (7,200)

For more information, including a detailed breakdown of the report and the methodology used, you can visit the World Happiness Report website.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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