Top 10 happiest countries in the world (Updated 2024)

The World Happiness Report is a publication that comprises articles and rankings of national happiness based on respondent judgments of their own lives, which the report also compares with other quality of life aspects. In order to provide the groundwork for the UN High-Level Meeting on Well-being and Happiness: Defining a New Economic Paradigm, the first World Happiness Report was published on April 1, 2012, garnering global interest. The initial report included a summary of the level of happiness in the globe, reasons why people are happy or unhappy, and case studies to illustrate the policy consequences.

Top 10 happiest countries in the world
Top 10 happiest countries in the world

The Gallup, Inc. polling firm conducted a global happiness assessment study, which served as the basis for the country’s happiness rankings. Nationally representative samples of respondents are asked to imagine a ladder, with the best conceivable life being a 10 and the worst possible life being a zero. They are then asked to rate their current lives on a 0 to 10 scale. The report ties the life evaluation results to several life elements.

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  • A randomly selected group of around 1,000 individuals from across the country is asked a series of questions concerning their degree of life satisfaction as well as positive and negative emotions.
  • The overall life screening question is based on the Cantril ladder, with the top representing the best conceivable life (a score of 10/10) and the bottom representing the worst possible life (a score of 0/10).
  • The key finding is that the residents of each of these nations self-reported their responses, which is how the scores were determined.
  • The results showed a 95% confidence interval, indicating that there is a 95% likelihood that the population polled and the responses are representative of the average.
  • To enhance the number of respondents in each country, the average scores of the previous three years are also taken into account.


  • The World Happiness Report’s skeptics point out that the survey’s questions gauge people’s contentment with their socioeconomic circumstances rather than their level of emotional happiness.
  • Furthermore, there are a plethora of cultural variations across the globe that impact individuals’ perspectives on pleasure and contentment in life.
  • Ultimately, there might be significant disparities in life satisfaction among groups inside a country, which are averaged out even in a sample that is nationally representative.
  • The report acknowledges inequity by calculating the “gap” between each country’s most and least happy half.

Now, we know some key points about the happiness index, its methodologies, and other drawbacks, which can help us decide how accurate these data are. Let’s dive into the ranking of the happiest nations in the world.

Top 10 Happiest Countries in the World

In this article, we are going to list the happiest countries in the world in descending order. So, let’s get into the list.

10. Australia

The 10th position on this prestigious list of nations is taken by the island nation of Australia. The mainland, the island of Tasmania, and several other islands make up the sovereign nation of Australia. It is the sixth-largest country in the world and the largest country in Oceania in terms of area. 

  • Area: 7,688,287 km2
  • Population: 26.01 million
  • Happiness Score: 7.057

Australia is a naturally resource-rich nation, which makes it extremely rich in mining industries, providing jobs and strengthening the economic situation of the common people. By nominal terms, it ranks fourteenth in the world, and by PPP, it ranks eighteenth. In terms of wealth per adult as of 2021, it ranks second only to Luxembourg, with the thirteenth-highest financial assets per capita. Australia allocated around 1.79% of its GDP, or $35.6 billion, to its research and development program in 2019. Despite making up only 0.3% of the global population, Australia contributed 4.1% of all published research in 2020, ranking in the top 10 countries in the world for the amount of research done.

9. Switzerland

The next country on this list is one of the favorite travel destinations for a lot of people around the world. Switzerland ranks 9th on the list of the happiest nations. It is a landlocked nation in west-central Europe known by its official name, the Swiss Confederation. Italy borders it on the south, France borders it on the west, Germany borders it on the north, and Austria and Lichtenstein border it on the east. Switzerland can be classified geographically into three regions: the Swiss Plateau, the Alps, and the Jura.

  • Area: 41,285 km2
  • Population: 8.90 million
  • Happiness Score: 7.060

Based on many rankings, it is the richest nation in the world per capita. The nation is among the least corrupt in the world, but its banking industry is considered to be “among the most corrupt globally.” On 2023, Switzerland ranked second globally on the Index of Economic Freedom, offering noteworthy public services in the process. Nominal GDP is higher per capita than the GDPs of Japan, the major economies of Western and Central Europe. It came in at number 20 out of 189 nations in the Ease of Doing Business Index. Numerous Nobel laureates have come from Switzerland. Organizations with headquarters in Switzerland have been granted the Nobel Peace Prize on nine occasions.

8. Luxembourg

The 10th position on this prestigious list of nations is taken by Luxembourg; it is the number one richest country in the world currently and one of the smallest countries in Europe. Located in Western Europe, Luxembourg is a small landlocked nation. Germany borders it to the east, France to the south, and Belgium to the west and north. Covering 2,586 square kilometers (998 sq. mi) in area, measuring 82 km (51 mi) in length and 57 km (35 mi) in width, it is among Europe’s smallest nations, ranking 168th out of the 194 sovereign nations of the world.

  • Area: 2,586 km2
  • Population: 653 thousand
  • Happiness Score: 7.122

According to estimations from the World Bank and the IMF, Luxembourg is a developed country with a prosperous economy and one of the highest GDP per capita in the world. The European Investment Bank, the European Court of Auditors, the European Statistical Office (Eurostat), and other essential EU institutions are located in Luxembourg, which is regarded as the capital of Europe. The country boasts one of the greatest rates of LGBT equality and human development in all of Europe. According to Mercer’s, it is ranked sixth out of the ten most livable cities worldwide.

7. Norway

Norway is the one of many Nordic nations to feature in this list. It ranks 7th in the league of happiest nation in the world. Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic nation on the Scandinavian Peninsula in northern Europe. Norway also includes the Svalbard archipelago and the isolated Arctic island of Jan Mayen. Norway is the northernmost and, when Svalbard is taken into account, the easternmost of the Nordic nations.

  • Area: 385,207 km2
  • Population: 5.475 million
  • Happiness Score: 7.302

At US$1.3 trillion, it possesses the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world. Norway is regarded as having one of the most advanced democracies and legal systems globally. Norway has one of the lowest rates of re-convictions worldwide, at 20%. According to Reporters Without Borders’ 2023 World Press Freedom Index, Norway is ranked #1 out of 180 nations. Implementing an anti-discrimination law that safeguards the rights of homosexual men and lesbians earned Norway the world’s first LGBT-friendly nation tag. Norway was the second nation to legalize same-sex civil union partnerships in 1993, and it was the sixth nation to legalize same-sex marriage on January 1, 2009. 

6. Netherlands

The country occupying the 6th position on this coveted list is Netherlands. Western Europe’s Netherlands, also known as Holland, is a nation having territories abroad in the Caribbean and northwest Europe. Out of the four nations that make up the Kingdom of the Netherlands, it is the largest. The twelve provinces that make up the Netherlands are bordered to the east and south by Germany and Belgium, respectively, and to the north and west by the North Sea coast. Germany, Belgium, and the United Kingdom are its maritime neighbors.

  • Area: 41,865 km2
  • Population: 17.7 million
  • Happiness Score: 7.319

Along with hundreds of smaller nature reserves, the Netherlands is home to 21 national parks. Shipping, fishing, farming, trade, and banking have been the main drivers of the Dutch economy since the sixteenth century. The Netherlands was named the fifth most competitive economy in the world by the Swiss International Institute for Management Development in 2017. In the 2023 Global Innovation Index, the nation dropped from its 2018 ranking of second place to seventh place as the world’s most innovative country. With a nominal GDP per capita ranking of 11th, the Netherlands boasts the 17th largest economy globally. It also has the least amount of income disparity across all nations.

5. Israel

Israel is the only country in this list from a large number of countries in the Asian continent. It sits at the 5th position in the happiest nation’s list. It is situated in an area that was formerly referred to as the Holy Land, Palestine, and Canaan. It shares borders with the Palestinian territories, which are the West Bank to the east and the Gaza Strip to the southwest. Lebanon borders it to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan borders it to the east, the Red Sea borders it to the south, Egypt borders it to the southwest, and the Mediterranean Sea borders it to the west.

  • Area: 22,145 km2 (disputed)
  • Population: 9.558 million
  • Happiness Score: 7.341

Regarding economic and industrial growth, Israel is seen as the most developed nation in the Middle East and Western Asia. In October 2023, the IMF projected that Israel’s GDP was 521.7 billion dollars, with a GDP per capita of 53.2 thousand dollars, placing it 13th globally. These figures are similar to those of other wealthy and industrialized nations.

In the Middle East, Israel enjoys the highest average adult wealth. According to The Economist, Israel’s economy will be the fourth most successful in the developed world in 2022. It has the 18th most billionaires worldwide and the most in the Middle East. Israel’s growth rate in recent years has been among the fastest in the developed world. Israel was placed fifth globally in terms of the proportion of its workforce employed in high-skilled jobs. After the US, Israel boasts the second-highest number of startup businesses and the third-highest number of NASDAQ-listed businesses. In terms of startups per person, it leads the globe.

4. Sweden

Sweden is the second Nordic nation to feature in the list of happiest country. It has secured 4th position in this year’s happiest nation list. Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Nordic nation in northern Europe that is situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula. It shares borders with Finland to the east, Norway to the west and north, and Denmark to the southwest, where it is connected by a bridge-tunnel that spans the Oresund.

  • Area: 450,295 km2
  • Population: 10.49 million
  • Happiness Score: 7.344

Ranked number seven on the Human Development Index, Sweden is a highly developed nation. Sweden continues to operate a Nordic social welfare system that offers all of its residents access to higher education and universal health care. It is the nation with the 14th largest GDP per capita in the world and scores highly in terms of prosperity, income equality, quality of life, health, education, and preservation of civil freedoms in addition to economic competitiveness. Fifty percent of Sweden’s earnings and exports come from the engineering sector, with the pharmaceutical, automotive, and telecommunications industries also playing significant roles. Approximately 33% of the 4.5 million working-age Swedish citizens have finished higher education.

3. Iceland

The country occupying the 3rd position on this coveted list is Iceland. Iceland is a Nordic island nation situated on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which connects North America and Europe, and between the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. It is the most sparsely populated nation in the region and shares political and cultural ties with Europe. Iceland is closer to continental Europe than North America, but it is closest to Greenland (290 kilometers; 155 nautical miles), a North American island.

  • Area: 103,592 km2
  • Population: 382,003
  • Happiness Score: 7.525

In comparison to other OECD nations, Iceland has a market economy with comparatively low tax rates and the highest trade union membership globally. It upholds a Nordic social welfare system that offers all of its residents access to higher education and universal health care. In global evaluations of national performance, Iceland does well in terms of economic freedom, government transparency, education, quality of life, and safeguarding of constitutional rights. The tourism industry is growing, particularly in the areas of ecotourism and whale watching. Over 1.1 million tourists visit Iceland each year on average, more than three times the country’s indigenous population. In the modern world, it ranks among the most developed nations.

2. Denmark

Denmark ranks second among the world’s happiest countries in 2024. Denmark is a Nordic country situated in northern Europe’s south-central region. The most populous region of the constitutionally unitary Kingdom of Denmark, which also includes the North Atlantic Ocean’s autonomous regions of Greenland and the Faroe Islands, is the state’s metropolitan area, located to the south-west and the south of Sweden, south of Norway, and north of Germany, with whom it shares a short land border.

  • Area: 42,952 km2
  • Population: 5.903 million
  • Happiness Score: 7.583

The percentage of people with tertiary degrees in Denmark is the fourth highest in the world. In terms of workers’ rights, the nation is at the top of the globe. Regarding labor rights, the nation is ranked #1 in the world. Although the nation’s market income disparity is almost identical to the OECD average, the difference is far less after taxes and government handouts. Denmark’s economy is quite open when measured against the Index of Economic Freedom and other economies globally. In 2017, the GDP was composed of roughly 15% manufacturing, less than 2% agriculture, and approximately 75% services. Among the main industries are wind turbines, construction, food processing, medicines, medical equipment, and manufacturing.

1. Finland

The number one happiest country in the world is Finland. Located in Northern Europe, Finland is a Nordic nation officially known as the Republic of Finland. It shares boundaries with Russia to the east, Sweden to the northwest, Norway to the north, and the Gulf of Bothnia to the west. To the south, it faces Estonia, and the Gulf of Finland to the west. There is minimal farmed land in the area, which is primarily made up of coniferous taiga forests and fens. Lakes, rivers, and ponds make up 10% of the overall area, while forests make up 78%.

  • Area: 338,462 km2
  • Population: 5.556 million
  • Happiness Score: 7.741

Finland is known for having one of the wealthiest welfare systems in the world, which includes free public education and universal healthcare. According to the 2023 Global Innovation Index, Finland is the sixth most innovative nation. In 2022, there were 46% of single-person homes, 32% of two-person households, and 22% of three-person families. Every individual lives in an area that is 40 square meters (430 square feet) on average. When it comes to cooperatives per capita, Finland leads the world. When purchasing power was taken into account, the average income as of 2008 was comparable to that of Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, and Sweden.


This list is not an accurate depiction of happiness as this is based on a relatively small sample size. Countries with huge populations like India and China can’t be judged by the samples taken from 1000 people. Therefore, many countries around the world do not entertain such indexes.

Also don’t forget to check the list of

Top 10 Poorest Country in the World

Top 10 Wealthiest Country in the World

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Jyoti Bashyal

Jyoti Bashyal, a graduate of the Central Department of Chemistry, is an avid explorer of the molecular realm. Fueled by her fascination with chemical reactions and natural compounds, she navigates her field's complexities with precision and passion. Outside the lab, Jyoti is dedicated to making science accessible to all. She aspires to deepen audiences' understanding of the wonders of various scientific subjects and their impact on the world by sharing them with a wide range of readers through her writing.

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