Vietnam performs much better in terms of equality, with the happiness gap between the happier and the less happy halves of Vietnam’s population ranking at 20th place.
A family walks around the Hoan Kiem lake pedestrian zone in Ha Noi during a public holiday in 2022
Vietnam ranks 65th out of 137 countries and territories in the 2020-2022 period as per the World Happiness Report 2023, up 12 places from the 2022 Report.
The report was released on March 20, which the United Nations has designated as the International Day of Happiness since 2013.
Country rankings this year are based on life evaluations in 2020, 2021, and 2022, so all of the observations are drawn from years of high infection and deaths from COVID-19.
Finland extends its run as the happiest country in the world for the sixth consecutive year this time, followed by frequent high performers like Denmark, Iceland, Israel, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Luxemburg, and New Zealand in the top 10.
At the other end of the table, Afghanistan ranks the lowest in the world, followed by Lebanon, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Singapore is the happiest Southeast Asian nation in this edition’s ranking, earning 25th place. Malaysia and Thailand are above Vietnam in this ranking, with 55th and 60th positions, respectively.
The factors that affect a country’s ranking include GDP per capita (size and performance of the economy), social support (having someone to count on in times of hardship), healthy life expectancy (which, other than life expectancy, also include physical and mental health), freedom to make life choices (human rights), generosity (a marker for positive community engagement), and perception of corruption.
On the other hand, Vietnam performs much better in terms of equality, with the happiness gap between the happier and the less happy halves of Vietnam’s population ranking at 20th place (ranking from the smallest to the largest gap).
A higher ranking translates to lower happiness inequality.
In this category, Afghanistan leads the world, followed by the Netherlands, Finland, Iceland, Belgium, Sweden, and Israel.
Vietnam is the only Asian country in the top 20 of this assessment.
Congo and Liberia have the biggest happiness gaps between the top and the bottom halves of the population.
According to the report, a population will only experience high levels of overall life satisfaction if its people are also pro-social, healthy, and prosperous.
The World Happiness Report is a Sustainable Development Solutions Network publication, powered by the Gallup World Poll data.