The top 10 happiest countries in the world 2024

One ticket to Luxembourg, please.

Every year, a Gallup World Poll gathers data in a number of different areas to assess what the happiest countries in the world are. The World Happiness Report is back for its 2023 edition and there have been some changes in the top 10, even if the top spot hasn’t changed now in six editions.

General happiness is, of course, a tricky metric to accurately measure. The World Happiness Report, though, does so by assigning a score to each nation polled using data gathered on life evaluation.

Those polled are asked to fill out a Cantril ladder survey, giving scores of their lives on a scale of zero to 10 – zero being worst and 10 being best. Around 1,000 survey responses are used for each country.

To collect a country’s individual score, known as the Average Life Evaluation, the Happiness Report takes an average of the numbers given by those surveyed in each nation across the last three years.

Of the nations polled, Afghanistan once again has been dubbed the unhappiest country in the world, with a score of 1.859. The UK, meanwhile, ranks as the 19th happiest country with a score of 6.796 and the US is 15th with a score of 6.894. But which country is the happiest?

10. New Zealand

New Zealand flag

New Zealand is the tenth-happiest country in the world in 2023 according to the World Happiness Report and was given a score of 7.123. This is the second year in a row that New Zealand has ranked tenth.

The first of just two countries outside of Europe in this list, New Zealand is famous for being the filming location of The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. The island nation is unique enough as it isn’t close to any other country. Its closest neighbour is New Caledonia, which is 2,248km away.

9. Luxembourg

Luxembourg flag

The ninth-happiest country in the world in 2023 is Luxembourg, with a World Happiness Report score of 7.228. The small European nation was ranked as high as sixth in 2022 so it has dropped three places this year.

Luxembourg is landlocked and borders Germany, Belgium, and France, sandwiched in the middle of the three. The tiny country has a population of just 655,112 people (UN) and is the smallest on this list in terms of total area – just 2,586km2 squared.

8. Switzerland

Switzerland flag

Switzerland is ranked eighth place in the World Happiness Report in 2023 with a score of 7.240. This represents the biggest drop in happiness in the top ten following on from being ranked fourth in 2022.

Another landlocked country after Luxembourg, Switzerland is famous for its mountains, ski resorts, chocolate, and banks. The neutral nation has four national languages, too: German French, Italian, and Romansh.

7. Norway

Norway flag

The seventh-happiest country in the world in 2023 is Norway, with a score of 7.315. This year’s World Happiness Report has seen them jump one place from being ranked eighth in 2022.

Norway is the first of the Scandinavian nations to be mentioned in this list – all of them are here – and shares a long border with Sweden. It’s famous for its fjords and northern lights and is a popular tourist destination for both.

6. Sweden

Sweden flag

Sweden is the sixth-happiest country on Earth with a World Happiness Report score of 7.395. The Scandinavian nation has climbed one place after being ranked seventh in 2022.

The country that gave the world ABBA, Ikea, and many a great metal band is also known for its many forests and lakes. There are said to be nearly 100,000 lakes in the Scandinavian nation and it’s claimed that around 70 per cent of its land area is covered in forest/woods.

5. Netherlands

Netherlands flag

The fifth-happiest country in the world is the Netherlands, with a score of 7.403 given by the World Happiness Report. 2023 is the second year in a row that the nation has made it into the top five.

Famous for its windmills, clogs and multi-coloured poppies, the Netherlands is also home to the International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court – both found in The Hague.

4. Israel

Flag of Israel

Israel is the fourth-happiest country in the world in 2023, with a score of 7.473. The nation has climbed from ninth to fourth in the top ten since the 2022 edition of the World Happiness Report.

Perhaps the most surprising country in this top ten, Israel is faces many diplomatic issues and marks just one of two nations outside of Europe in the list.

Iceland flag

The third-happiest country in the world in 2023 is Iceland according to the World Happiness Report, awarding the nation a score of 7.530. This is the second year in a row that Iceland has been given third place.

Iceland is the smallest country in this list by population, with just 375,436 living on the island nation. The country is famous for its geysers and volcanic eruptions and gave the world musician Björk.

2. Denmark

Denmark flag

Denmark is the second-happiest country on Earth, with the World Happiness Report applying a score of 7.586. This is the fourth year in a row that Denmark has been dubbed the second-happiest country in the world.

Yet another Scandinavian country in the top ten happiest on Earth, Denmark was a founding member of many of the world’s most important organisations: NATO, the UN, Nordic Council, OECD, and OSCE.

1. Finland

Finland flag

Finland is the happiest country in the world, according to the World Happiness Report 2023. This is the sixth year in a row that Finland has been named the happiest country on Earth.

In the report, Finland achieved an overall score of 7.804. Finland is known as the home of Santa Claus, reindeer, and its love of saunas is world-renowned. Around 74 per cent of Finland is covered by forest.

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