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The Happiest Countries in the World in 2023
For over 11 years, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network has been ranking 150 countries based on factors like social assistance, income, health, freedom, charity, and lack of corruption, as rated by residents. Named World Happiness Report, these rankings highlight the happiest countries in the world, providing valuable insights into countries that prioritize well-being. By assessing universal qualities, the organization identifies countries that excel in creating flourishing societies and promoting overall happiness.
While Finland continues to lead the way as the world’s happiest country, other nations also exhibit high levels of happiness due to various factors ranging from social support systems and economic stability to natural beauty and cultural diversity. These happiest countries in the world provide valuable insights into creating a happier society for both current and future generations.
Meet the list of the top 10 happiest countries in the world.
Finland continues to be the world’s happiest country for the sixth consecutive year, with a score of 7.804. Despite a slight decrease from last year, Finland remains significantly ahead of other nations. The Finnish government aims to share its happiness secret through the “Masterclass of Happiness” initiative. This helps foreigners tap into their “inner Finn” and embrace the Finnish state of mind. The serene Kuru Resort, located in the captivating Lakeland region, provides a natural setting for participants to connect with nature and receive guidance from professional coaches.
Denmark secures second place in the happiness rankings. The country has a score of 7.586, demonstrating that high taxes do not impede happiness. Despite having the highest personal income tax rate in Europe, Denmark’s robust social welfare system more than compensates for it. The country provides free universal health care and education, ensuring that its citizens have access to essential services without financial burden. This comprehensive social support contributes to a higher quality of life and well-being for the Danish population, highlighting that a strong welfare state can foster happiness and prosperity even in the face of higher tax rates.
Iceland stands out not only as one of the happiest countries but also as one of the safest. With a gender gap reduction of over 90%, Iceland takes the top spot in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report for 2022. The Icelandic people find joy in factors such as affluence, economic security, honesty, free education, a sense of community, and the privilege of living amidst breathtaking natural environments.
In a remarkable shift, Israel rises to fourth place. The country experienced a rapid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, with a 6.5% economic expansion and a 4.4% increase in GDP per capita. Strong social networks, long average lifespans, and a strong sense of community contribute to Israel’s high quality of life.
5. The Netherlands
Maintaining its fifth-place position with a score of 7.403, the Netherlands offers more than picturesque tulip fields. The country’s resilience sets it apart from other EU nations, as recognized by the International Monetary Fund. The Dutch rediscover their happiness through their prosperous society and its many positive attributes.
Sweden has climbed to sixth place in the happiness rankings, driven by factors that contribute to a high quality of life. The country boasts a higher life expectancy, indicating a strong health care system. With low levels of air and environmental pollution, Sweden prioritizes sustainability and offers a cleaner living environment. Its high employment rate provides opportunities for economic stability, while notable gender equality promotes equal rights and opportunities for all. These factors collectively contribute to Sweden’s position as a country with a great quality of life. Its residents can enjoy good health, clean surroundings, and fair society.
Norway consistently ranks among the top 10 happiest nations. Its high standard of living, low corruption levels, and extensive social safety net contribute to the well-being of its residents. The country’s natural beauty, with breathtaking features such as fjords, mountains, lush forests, lakes, and the mesmerizing spectacle of the northern lights, offers peaceful retreats where people can unwind and connect with nature. These natural surroundings play a significant role in promoting a positive outlook on life.
Despite dropping four places in the rankings, Switzerland remains home to some of the world’s happiest and healthiest people. The country’s low crime rate, high GDP per capita, and picturesque mountain environment contribute to the overall happiness levels of its population. The Swiss also attribute high levels of life satisfaction to “prosociality” activities, such as volunteering and charitable giving, which foster a sense of community and social connection.
Although Luxembourg has dropped to the ninth position, it’s worth noting that it entered the list of the 10 ten happiest countries at number six. The country’s wealth per capita, combined with high safety levels and cultural diversity, contributes to the happiness of its residents. Luxembourgers enjoy a wide range of amenities and opportunities, despite the country’s small size and low population. The presence of a vibrant and inclusive community adds to the overall happiness of the country.
10. New Zealand
Retaining its position as the 10th happiest country, New Zealand has shown resilience in recovering from the impacts of the pandemic. The country’s successful handling of the crisis has attracted visitors and allowed various industries to surpass pre-pandemic levels. New Zealand’s high GDP per capita provides its residents, even those living in urban areas, with access to magnificent natural landscapes, including beautiful beaches, pristine lakes, and renowned wineries. Moreover, the country boasts indicators of well-being, such as a strong education system, excellent health care, and active civic involvement, which all contribute to the overall happiness of its people.