Studies have shown that people who live in cold, cloudy, and impoverished areas of the world are often happier than those in sun-filled and wealthier countries. So no, money, warm weather, and the sun don’t equate happiness. And if you want to prove this to yourself, look no further than the recently released World Happiness Report.
Nordic countries have reclaimed the top spots in the United Nations-sponsored report that celebrates its 10th anniversary.
On the other hand, it states that the average life evaluation has remained quite resilient in the past two years despite the new COVID-19 pandemic. With that said, there are two newcomers in this year’s top 10 list, replacing Austria and Germany, at the expense of Israel and Luxembourg, which fell to numbers 11 and 14 respectively.
So, who are the big winners? Keep reading to see which countries are home to the happiest people in the world.
10. New Zealand
New Zealand was ninth in last year’s ranking and came in 10th in the 2022 rankings. One of the country’s advantages is its breathtaking, accessible natural attractions and its high quality of life. Good life balance (A park or bike trail is never too far away, even in big cities), laid-back lifestyle, and year-round climate contribute to New Zealanders’ high level of life satisfaction. The country also had one of the lowest rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths in the world last year, adding to the sense of security and trust in the people.
Israel has continued to improve in the World Happiness Report. Last year, the country ranked 12th, and this year, it rose three spots and is now number nine due to its residents’ strong sense of community, ability to make life choices, and high life expectancy.
The diverse culture and appealing scenery of Israel’s scenery is beneficial to the lifestyles of its people, so it should be able to rise even higher next year.
Known for its gorgeous coastlines, majestic fjords, scenic lakes, and the mystical northern lights, the Kingdom of Norway came in first in this ranking in 2017. With a high GDP per capita, universal health care, and high-quality education opportunities (public education is tuition-free for all students regardless of country of origin), Norwegians are rarely unhappy with their living situation.
Falling one spot to number seven from last year, the Scandinavian country’s score actually increased–7.384 versus 7.363 in 2021. While its rating is down among the Nordic countries, the World Happiness Report notes that compared to other countries, Sweden had the highest number of COVID-19 deaths, which may have impacted institutional trust in its residents.
But it still performs at the top of several measures including support from society, life expectancy, and freedom to make decisions, all of which are tied to its natural resources, to name just a few.
A newcomer in this year’s report, Luxembourg is home to about 640,000 people. Although it’s not one of Europe’s most populous countries, it leads when it comes to diversity. Nearly 50% of the residents have a foreign nationality, and representatives of over 170 nationalities can be found in total. Furthermore, Luxembourg welcomes 200,000 commuters from other countries every day.
Therefore, Luxembourg’s multiculturalism and its great life expectancy (second highest in the world), low poverty rates, etc. put it on the top 10 list of happiest countries in the world.
With a total score of 7.415, this northern European country again claimed the fifth spot in the World Happiness Report. Its residents have the best work-life balance in the world and benefit from high-quality education, low crime rates, and high disposable income.
And with a rich and fascinating history, vibrant arts scene, and beautiful nature (we have two words for you: tulip fields), it’s no surprise that life satisfaction among the Dutch is pretty high.
Many rank Switzerland among the happiest countries in the world and there are many reasons why this is so. Its high GDP per capita, social support, and low corruption rates instill a sense of trust in its citizens.
Switzerland is also a country of banks, expensive watches, and delicious chocolate. As it’s home to breathtaking Alps covering about 60% of the country and 1,500 lakes, Swiss citizens are never too far from a relaxing escape in the mountains or an idyllic getaway by the water.
This year, Iceland placed third with a total score of 7.557. Roughly the size of Kentucky, Iceland is home to a little over 366,000 residents who live primarily in the capital Reykjavik.
All these factors work together to give Icelanders a more positive outlook on the future: the country’s crime rate is very low, the population enjoys a higher standard of living, people have access to high-quality education, and the unemployment rate is low and is going back to what it was before the pandemic.
What is also beautiful about the country is its stunning natural beauty. Places like volcanic mountains, snow-covered glaciers, greenery covered hills, majestic waterfalls, hot springs, and beautiful fjords are found all over Iceland.
Over the course of many years, Denmark held the world’s number one spot for the happiest country. Even if it dropped to second place, there are still a lot of reasons for Denmark’s constantly high ranking. That is, a stable government, free education and health care, and respect for human rights.
Not only is it a small city, so its residents don’t have to travel far to access its natural wonders, but it also has a lot of them. Lots of perfect spots to take a break and unwind can be found throughout Denmark- such as the beaches, windswept islands, and deep blue lakes.
It has been named the happiest country in the world for the fifth year in a row and while there has been a financial slump as a result of COVID-19, it has not ruined the people’s mood who feel optimistic about their government and way of life. Having achieved a score of 7.821 out of 10 thanks to factors such as a high GDP per capita, social support, a high life expectancy, and generosity, Finland sets a shining example for other countries.
With its beaches, lakes, islands, and forests, it’s no wonder that the Nordic country Finland keeps its residents happy and attracts millions of tourists eager to experience the Nordic country’s Finnish happiness.