A recent Ipsos poll places the Saudi kingdom in third place in the ranking of countries with the happiest population, ahead of France, the United States and Canada.
In general, this is not the indicator that attracts the most attention. However, in some countries, such as Bhutan, it has been under close scrutiny for more than a decade (the country decided in 2008 to pay more attention to Gross National Happiness, rather than to the sacrosanct Gross Domestic Product, or GDP). But in the ranking of countries, the first ones are often trumped by the same ones: in this matter, the best students in the world are always Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and the Netherlands.
However, this is not what this Ipsos survey of 1,000 citizens from each of the 27 participating countries reveals. On the contrary, it shows that while our Batavian neighbors are in the top trio, they are accompanied by China and… Saudi Arabia. In the Saudi kingdom, 80% of respondents said they were “rather happy” or “very happy”. It is also the country with the highest proportion of adults who consider themselves “very happy”, with 30%, followed by India with 22% and the Netherlands with 20%. China leads the way with 93% of the voters declaring themselves to be in the same frame of mind.
The rest of the top 10 is occupied by France, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, and Belgium, where happiness is claimed by between 70 and 80% of the population.
The countries with the lowest level of happiness in the index are Spain, Chile and Peru.
The survey, although carried out this summer in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic, generated results relatively similar to the previous year, which were little shaken by the virus.