These are the happiest countries in the world in 2024

Finland remained the happiest country in the world for the seventh year in a row.


Finland is the happiest country in the world for the seventh consecutive year, according to an annual United Nations-sponsored World Happiness Report released on Wednesday.

And the Nordic countries retained their places in the top ten happiest countries, with Denmark, Iceland and Sweden lagging behind Finland.

Afghanistan, which has been hit by a humanitarian disaster since the Taliban regained control in 2020, remained at the bottom of the 143 countries surveyed.

For the first time since the report was published more than a decade ago, the United States and Germany were not among the 20 happiest nations, ranking 23rd and 24th, respectively.

Costa Rica and Kuwait, in turn, made it into the top 20 with places 12 and 13.

The report found that the happiest countries no longer included any of the world’s largest countries.

“In the top 10 countries, only the Netherlands and Australia have a population of over 15 million. In the entire top 20, only Canada and the United Kingdom have populations over 30 million.”

The largest declines in happiness since 2006-2010 were seen in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Jordan, while the Eastern European countries of Serbia, Bulgaria and Latvia reported the largest increases.

The happiness ranking is based on individuals’ self-assessments of life satisfaction as well as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity and corruption.

– Growing inequality –

Jennifer De Paola, a happiness researcher at the University of Helsinki in Finland, told AFP that Finns’ close connection to nature and a healthy work-life balance contributed significantly to their life satisfaction.

Additionally, Finns may have a “more actionable understanding of what a successful life is” compared to, for example, the United States, where success is often equated with financial gain, she said.

The Finns’ strong welfare society, trust in state authorities, low corruption and free healthcare and education were also crucial.

“Finnish society is characterized by a sense of trust, freedom and a high degree of autonomy,” said De Paola.

This year’s report also found that younger generations were happier than their older counterparts in most regions of the world – but not all.

In North America, Australia and New Zealand, happiness among groups under 30 has fallen dramatically since 2006-2010, with older generations now happier than younger ones.

In contrast, in Central and Eastern Europe, happiness increased significantly across all age groups over the same period, while in Western Europe, people of all ages reported similar levels of happiness.

Happiness inequality increased in all regions except Europe, which the authors called a “worrying trend.”

The increase was particularly pronounced among the elderly and in sub-Saharan Africa, reflecting inequalities in “income, education, health care, social acceptance, trust and the presence of supportive social environments at family, community and national levels,” the authors said .

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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