World Happiness Report 2021: Sierra Leone Ranks 138

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Sierra Leone ranks 138 out of 149 countries in the Ninth World Happiness Report 2021 released over the weekend.

Positioned after Mauritania, Madagascar, Togo and Zambia ranking 134, 135, 136 and 137 respectively, Sierra Leone tops countries like India, Burundi, Yemen, Tanzania, Haiti, Malawi, Lesotho, Botswana, Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan.

The World Happiness Report 2021 focuses on the effects of COVID-19 and how people all over the world have fared. The aim is to focus on the effects of COVID-19 on the structure and quality of people’s lives, and second to describe and evaluate how governments all over the world have dealt with the Pandemic.

The Report is unlike any that have come before. COVID-19 has shaken, taken and reshaped lives everywhere. In this chapter, the central purpose remains just what it has always been – to measure and use subjective well-being to track and explain the quality of lives all over the globe.

It also devotes equal efforts to unravelling how geography, demography, and the spread of the virus have interacted with each country’s scientific knowledge and social and political underpinnings, especially their institutional and social trust levels, to explain international differences in death rates from COVID-19.

The Report presents the overall life evaluations and measures of positive and negative emotions (affect) for those countries for which 2020 surveys are available. The resulting rankings exclude the many countries without 2020 surveys, and the smaller sample sizes, compared to the three-year averages usually used, increase their imprecision.

It then place these rankings beside those based on data for 2017-2019, before COVID-19 struck, and also present our usual ranking figure based on the three-year average of life evaluations 2018-2020. Second, we use responses at the individual level to investigate how COVID-19 has affected the happiness of different population subgroups, thus attempting to assess possible inequalities in the distribution of the well-being consequences of COVID-19.

It again reviews and extends the evidence on the links between trust and well-being, finding evidence that trust and benevolence are strong supports for well-being, and also for successful strategies to control COVID-19.

The Report further turns to examine how different features of national demographic, social and political structures have combined with the consequences of policy strategies and disease exposure to help explain international differences in 2020 death rates from COVID-19.