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Vietnam Jumps 4 Places to 79th in UN World Happiness Ranking

Even with the catastrophes caused by COVID-19 last year, Vietnam’s overall happiness improved, albeit not by much.

Last week, the World Happiness Report 2021 from the United Nations was released, painting a macro-level vision of a world marred by disease and economic regression. The latest report placed a special emphasis on the role of COVID-19 on the human psyche of cultures around the world — how it affected our collective life assessment, positive and negative emotions.

The happiness score of each nation is compiled using six “pillars”: GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, social support, perceived freedom to make life choice, generosity and perception of corruption.

Every year, researchers take into account data from the previous three years of survey to boost the sample size. An annual sample includes 1,000 surveyees for each country. In 2020, data collection and submission became particularly challenging due to how the pandemic severely impeded movement and productivity. Thus, the 2020 data for some countries is not available.

According to the latest result, Vietnam ranked 79th of 149 compared to 83rd in the previous ranking. The country did relatively well in some categories such as healthy life expectancy (No. 50), social support (No. 67) and perception of corruption (No. 68). Fascinatingly, it made the top 10 at No. 9 on perceived freedom to make life choices. Areas of improvement include GDP per capita (No. 98) and generosity (No. 112).

For the fourth year in a row, Finland takes the top spot while Nordic and Western European countries fill out the rest of the top 10. One exception is New Zealand at No. 9. In Asia, Taiwan and Singapore also performed well, placing 24th and 32nd, respectively.

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