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World Happiness Report 2021: Mauritius, the happiest African country?


As part of the world day of happiness held on the 20 March 2021, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network published their ninth annual edition of the World Happiness Report 2021. According to the official 2021 World Happiness Report, Mauritius is ranked at the 50th position as the happiest country while Finland is at first position and known as the ‘happiest place on earth’ for the fourth time in a row.

Even if there is a global pandemic going on, the World Happiness Report has published its 9th edition on the 20 March. The factors used to measure happiness of the countries are the GDP, life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom, and corruption, among others. 

The top 5 world happiest country:

  1. Finland
    Finland is considered the happiest country on earth with a score of 7.842  as they have a high level of social support, low level of corruption, a stable democracy and freedom.
  2. Denmark
    Denmark is at the second position with a score of 7.620. Denmark has free universities, free medical care and free child care according to the official 2021 WHR ranking, Denmark scored 1.108 for social support, a higher score than Finland. 
  3. Switzerland
    Despite being in the third position, Switzerland has a greater life expectancy and GDP per capita than Denmark and Finland. Education costs are relatively low.
  4. Iceland
    Iceland has a low crime rate and is known to be a safe place and has a high level of equality between genders. Equal rights for the LGBT community for marriage and adoption. 
  5. Netherlands
    Among the top 5, Netherlands has the score of 0.302 for generosity which is the highest score. The Netherlands is known as a safe place and having the most generous citizens.

Mauritius is at the 50th place for the world happiness ranking with a world happiness index of 6.049 but is ranked 44th when combining the 2020 data with that from 2018 and 2019, just as done in a normal year .

Mauritius scored 1.178 in GDP per capita, 0.996 social support, 0.574 health life expectancy, 0.590 freedom of life choices, 0.153 generosity, and 0.096 perception of corruption. These results made Mauritius rank as the 50th happiest country in the world and rank number one among the happiest African countries. 

While we are still in the top 50, Mauritius moved back to 1 place as in 2020 Mauritius was ranked 49th. 

Among the 149 countries mentioned in the report, Afghanistan is considered as the least happy country. Among the five least happiest countries, there are four African countries namely, Botswana, Rwanda, Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

Top 5 world happiest country in Africa:

  1. Mauritius (44th)
    Even though Mauritius has an increasing crime rate and an unstable democracy, it is considered to be the happiest african country. The perception of corruption is the lowest of the top 5 countries. 
  2. Libya (80th)
    Libya has a high level of unstable security and armed conflicts which is unpredictable. The country also has an unstable political situation. 
  3. Congo (83th)
    Congo has a high level of crime and civil disorder, armed conflicts and terrorism. Also the Republic of Congo has a high level of poverty and unemployment. 
  4. Ivory Coast (85th)
    Ivory Coast is not the safest place, level of terrorism, pickpockets and scamrisk are high. The GDP per capita is among the lowest with a score of 0.518 and the lowest healthy life expectancy of 0.052. 
  5. Cameroon (91th)
    Cameroon has the lowest perception of corruption with a score of 0.058. In 2020, Cameroon was ranked 149 over 180 countries for corruption, and had a score of 25/100 according to Corruption Perception Index Transparency International.

Only ten African countries made it to the top 100. Countries at the bottom are the ones with the most political instability, firearm usage and reduced safety.