South Africa is happy (er, kind of)

When was the last time someone asked you how you’re feeling? How is your physical and mental health, and how have you been, given the pandemic? These are the questions the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University asks when it compiles its annual happiness report. Imagine our surprise when we saw South Africa recorded a slight increase in happiness in 2020, up from the previous year. What?! Other countries saw steep declines. Listen, we’ll take it. 🙃

Maybe spending all that time at home reminded you what you’re really grateful for. This year, South Africa ranked 103 on the index out of 149 countries. This is a slight increase in our happiness levels compared to 2019’s year’s ranking of 109. The happiest country is Finland (for the fourth year in a row) and the least happy is Afghanistan. Jeffery Sachs, an economist and former director of the Earth Institute, said the World Happiness Report 2021 is a reminder that we must aim for wellbeing rather than mere wealth. Hear hear.