This Is the Happiest Country in the World

Can you guess which one it is?

Aerial view to Kaisaniemi district and downtown Helsinki by sunset in summer

Miemo Penttinen - miemo.net / Getty Images

Finland has just been named the happiest country by the 10th annual World Happiness Report for the fifth year running.

The World Happiness Report, which the Sustainable Development Solutions Network publishes in conjunction with Gallup World Poll, is based on a three-year-average of global survey data pulled from 150-plus countries. Using six factors—perceptions of corruption, generosity, freedom to make life choices, healthy life expectancy, social support, and GDP per capita—the report ranks each country on a 10-point scale. This year, Finland earned 7.82 points.

"COVID-19 is the biggest health crisis we've seen in more than a century," said John Helliwell, professor at the University of British Columbia, in a statement. "Now that we have two years of evidence, we are able to assess not just the importance of benevolence and trust, but to see how they have contributed to well-being during the pandemic."

Countries "at the very bottom of the ranking...suffer from conflict and extreme poverty," added Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, professor and director of the Wellbeing Research Centre at the University of Oxford.

Finland isn't the only Nordic country to top the list. Denmark (7.64) ranks second, while Iceland (7.56) moved up from fourth to third place in 2022. Sweden (7.38) and Norway (7.37) also landed in the top 10, placing seventh and eighth, respectively. Meanwhile, the U.S. (6.98) ranked 16th, sandwiched between Canada (7.03) and the U.K. (6.94).

"We found during 2021 remarkable worldwide growth in all three acts of kindness monitored in the Gallup World Poll," said Helliwell. "Helping strangers, volunteering, and donations in 2021 were strongly up in every part of the world, reaching levels almost 25 [percent] above their pre-pandemic prevalence. This surge of benevolence, which was especially great for the helping of strangers, provides powerful evidence that people respond to help others in need, creating in the process more happiness for the beneficiaries, good examples for others to follow, and better lives for themselves."

The Happiest Countries in the World

  • Finland (7.821)
  • Denmark (7.636)
  • Iceland (7.557)
  • Switzerland (7.512)
  • Netherlands (7.415)
  • Luxembourg (7.404)
  • Sweden (7.384)
  • Norway (7.365)
  • Israel (7.364)
  • New Zealand (7.200)

The complete list of the world's happiest countries can be found here.

Article Sources
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  1. World Happiness Report. "Amid War and Disease, World Happiness Report Shows Bright Spot." March 18, 2022.

  2. World Happiness Report. "Amid War and Disease, World Happiness Report Shows Bright Spot." March 18, 2022.

  3. World Happiness Report. "Happiness, Benevolence, and Trust During COVID-19 and Beyond." March 18, 2022.

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