This is the happiest country in the world

In honor of the International Day of Happiness on March 20, the World Happiness Report is presented every year. A ranking of countries where people are the happiest in the world. Ambition for a happy life? You have to be in these countries.

World Hapiness Report, the annual report of the happiest countries marking the United Nations International Day of Happiness on March 20, is a collaboration between Gallup, the Oxford Wellbeing Research Centre, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and an editorial board. Residents from more than 140 countries participated in the study and completed a survey based on their average life assessments over the three previous years, in this case 2021 to 2023. This resulted in a ranking of countries based on happiness.

The report characterizes six key variables to help explain life assessments: GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity and perceptions of corruption.

The happiest countries

Finland is the happiest country in the world for the seventh year in a row. The land of the Northern Lights has a lot to offer when it comes to the right social conditions for happiness, such as free healthcare and education, trust in the government and little corruption.

“And you find that Finland is quite rich in all those things, like wallets that are returned when they fall on the street, people helping each other day in and day out, very high quality and universally distributed health and education opportunities – so everyone comes more or less more equal out of the starting blocks,” said John Helliwell, professor emeritus of economics at the Vancouver School of Economics, University of British Columbia, and one of the founders of the World Happiness Report.

Finland's neighbors could also count on a place in the top 10, with Denmark (No. 2), Iceland (No. 3) and Sweden (No. 4) in the top five, and Norway (No. 7) alive in the north of Europe is full of happiness.

Israel (5), the Netherlands (No. 6), Luxembourg (No. 8), Switzerland (No. 9) and Australia (No. 10) complete the top 10. The Netherlands drops one place in the rankings and Israel takes fifth place, despite the current tensions. The researchers explain that the list was based on the average of three years, 2021 to 2023, so the events of one year do not directly affect the happiness rating.

Remarkable difference between young and old

The decline in happiness among young people is remarkable. For example, happiness among young people has fallen sharply in North America, meaning they are now less happy than older people. Those low scores resulted in the United States being pushed out of the top 2012 of the list for the first time since the report was published in 20.

The United States (No. 23) and Germany (No. 24) fell outside the top 20, partly due to increases in happiness in other countries – especially the Czech Republic (No. 18), Lithuania (No. 19) and Slovenia (No. 21). The United Kingdom closes the list at number 20.

Although Lithuania ranked 19th this year, among respondents under 30, it was the happiest country in 2024. For people over 60, Lithuania came in at No. 44. Australia and New Zealand also saw much lower rankings among the young.

World Happiness Report 2024

1. finland
2. Denmark
3. Iceland
4. Sweden
5. Israel
6. Netherlands
7. Norway
8. Luxembourg
9. Switzerland
10. Australia
11. New Zealand
12. Costa Rica
13. Kuwait
14. Austria
15. Canada
16. Belgium
17. Ireland
18. Czech Republic
19. Lithuania
20. United Kingdom