Written by : Paula Felps 

Finland Tops Global Happiness Rankings for 7th Consecutive Year

In a remarkable display of consistent well-being, Finland has once again been named the happiest country in the world, according to the latest World Happiness Report published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).

This marks the seventh year the Nordic nation has held the top spot in the rankings, which are based on self-assessed life evaluations of citizens from countries around the world. The six key factors used to evaluate happiness are social support, income, health, freedom, generosity, and absence of corruption. Rankings are based on a three-year average of each population’s average life assessment.

Who’s happy now?

Consistent with previous years, Nordic countries did well overall, with the 10 highest countries being:

  1. Finland
  2. Denmark
  3. Iceland
  4. Sweden
  5. Israel
  6. Netherlands
  7. Norway
  8. Luxembourg
  9. Switzerland
  10. Australia

The report authors noted that the survey was taken in Israel after the October 7 attack but before warfare had broken out.

While there was little change in the top 10 from previous years, the top 20 was a different story and showed plenty of movement. Costa Rica and Kuwait moved into the top 20 for the first time at positions 12 and 13, respectively. Both Czechia and Lithuania — new entrants to the top 20 last year — remained steadfast and were nearly joined by Slovenia, which moved up to the 21st spot.

It’s not all good…

However, while these countries continue to show greater happiness, the United States had its worst showing on the list to date, falling out of the top 20 for the first time since the list began in 2012. Last year, it ranked 15th; this year, it ranked 23rd. The study links the decline to the drop in well-being among people under the age of 30.

Germany, which ranked 16th last year, joined the U.S. in tumbling out of the top 20. That means the top countries no longer include any of the world’s largest countries; in the top 10, only Netherlands and Australia have more than 15 million residents, and the only countries in the top 20 with populations above 30 million are Canada (No. 15) and the United Kingdom (No. 20).

In addition to ranking the happiness of more than 140 countries, each World Happiness Report looks at specific curated themes, and this year’s report looks at happiness across different age groups. It found that, globally, young people (ages 15-24) have a higher life satisfaction than adults. However, this is no longer the case in America, where people under the age of 30 show the lowest levels of happiness.

Additional research in this year’s report looks at the impact of dementia on one’s well-being, but also looks at how higher well-being earlier in life can reduce the risk of developing dementia over time.

One chapter of the report is also dedicated to studying life satisfaction among older adults in India, which is now the world’s most populous nation. Researchers found that, just as in other countries, increasing age is associated with higher life satisfaction.

About the World Happiness Report

The World Happiness Report is a partnership of Gallup, the Oxford Wellbeing Research Centre, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and the WHR’s Editorial Board.

The report is produced under the editorial control of the WHR Editorial Board, formed of John F. Helliwell, Lord Richard Layard, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, Lara B. Aknin, and Shun Wang.

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