Cambodia ranks 114th on 2021 World Happiness Report


The ninth World Happiness Report (WHR) has placed Cambodia as 114th globally in 2021, despite the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic over the past year.

Nations that have relatively low COVID-19 death rates and have come through the period having faired well are recognised in the report, which includes, Taiwan (24th), Singapore (32nd), Thailand (48th), Lao (100th), Cambodia (114th), and Myanmar (126th).

On releasing the report, the editors said, “Although the World Happiness Reports are based on a wide variety of data, the most important source has always been the Gallup World Poll, which is unique in the range and comparability of its global series of annual surveys.”

The results are based on 2020 data including the categories of:

  • Gross Domestic Product Per Capita.
  • Social Support.
  • Healthy life expectancy at birth.
  • Freedom to make life choices.
  • Generosity.
  • Perceptions of corruption.
Cambodia - 2021 World Happiness Report
Photo Credit: Oxfam

Cultural impacts on minimising the impact of COVID-19

The WHR noted that “The more individualistic culture of the North Atlantic countries compared to countries in the Asia-Pacific region and the relative looseness of social norms may also have contributed to lower public support for NPIs.

Assertions of “personal liberty” and demands for privacy in the North Atlantic contributed to the reluctance of individuals in the North Atlantic countries to comply with public health measures such as contact tracing.”

The report also details the changes in well-being from 2017-2019 to 2020 in which East and South Asia performed the best of all the regions.

Stronger Measures and Public Adherence

The Asia-Pacific region had governments “setting strong control policies, while the general public supported governments and complied with government-directed public health measures compared to other regions.

The Top Ten: World Happiness Report 2021

Finland, ranked No. 1 for the fourth year in a row, and New Zealand was the only non-European nation to make the top 10:

  1. Finland
  2. Iceland
  3. Denmark
  4. Switzerland
  5. The Netherlands
  6. Sweden
  7. Germany
  8. Norway
  9. New Zealand
  10. Austria

Cambodia ranked well on International Living’s 2021 Annual Global Retirement Index and had improved on the 2020 FM Global Resilience Index.


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