Glass Half Full: The 10 Happiest Countries in the World

In a world that in past years has been battered by a global pandemic and many cases of civil unrest, natural disasters, and political collapse, the voice of happiness may not be heard amidst the chaos.

Resilience Across Nations

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And yet, as researched by the World Happiness Report, human adaptability knows no bounds. As with previous years, they have compiled data over a three-year span, detailing which countries are remaining steadfast in the face of opposition.

Happiness Determined Through Six Categories

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Focusing on a list of 149 separate countries, the World Happiness Report has considered six different categories when assessing each area.

Happiness Determined Through Six Categories

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Gross domestic product per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make own life choices, generosity of the general population, and perceptions of internal and external corruption levels all hold weight in the final ranking.

10. Austria

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Seen on postcards around the world for the beautiful Alps, Austria is a favored winter sports country, famous for its musical history and internationally popular Red Bull brand.

10. Austria

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Considered the fifth most peaceful country in the world, Austria has also long been commended on their quality of life, achieving eighth place in the world, according to collaborative online database Numbeo. 

9. New Zealand

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Loved for its picturesque geography and hailed as a people-focused community, New Zealand flies into tenth place when it comes to population happiness.

9. New Zealand

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Global Finance lists New Zealand in the top ten ‘Safest Countries in the World,’ which undoubtedly adds to its inhabitants’ sense of security.

The unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in 20 years, and the average life expectancy is a comfortable 82.21 years.

8. Luxembourg

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A small country, hedged in by France, Germany, and Belgium, Luxembourg has a population of just over 650 thousand people.

8. Luxembourg

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According to the World Happiness Report, Luxembourg’s gross domestic product per capita, in short, self-produced wealth, is the highest of any country listed. This financial security contributes greatly to their place on the ranking board.

7. Switzerland

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Bolstered by healthy scores in each of the World Happiness Report’s six considerations, Switzerland sits comfortably in the top ten happiest countries. Long considered a nation of peace, the 2023 Global Peace Index includes Switzerland in its top ten, commending the safety and security of the country.

6. Norway

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With strong levels of social support noted alongside their ranking, this is not the first time Norway has been listed as a happy country.

6. Norway

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Famous for its magical landscapes, Norway is also in the top ten most educated countries worldwide, according to the World Population Review, and as education is often directly linked with happiness, it is unsurprising that Norway sits so highly on the board.

5. Sweden

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Having moved up from last year’s seventh place, Sweden has impressive scores across the board. Known for iconic brands like Ikea and Spotify, Sweden is a hive of both business and art.

5. Sweden

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And the cost of living? For those setting up a house in Stockholm, life will be an average of 30 percent cheaper than in Los Angeles, California, which is quite the incentive for happiness.

4. Netherlands

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The Netherlands may have a quaint impression of windmills and tulips, but it is also the world’s second-largest importer of agricultural goods, making it a steady competitor on the gross domestic product per capita front.

4. Netherlands

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Additionally, the country was the first in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, a reflection of the same progressive values that seem to maintain high levels of happiness among residents.

3. Iceland

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Declared the most peaceful country in the world by the Global Peace Index, Iceland is also the third-happiest country to live in.

With a high level of social support and a strong score for their gross domestic product per capita, Iceland has a rich history entwined in Norse mythology and folklore.

3. Iceland

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With vivid landscapes and iconic landmarks, Iceland is colloquially known as the Land of Fire and Ice, encapsulating the beauty and wonder of this small and content country.

2. Denmark

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Home to the oldest monarchy in Europe, Denmark is heralded for its progressive welfare state policies.

While the government is committed to the welfare of its people, it has also brought the country to place second in the world for the most peaceful nation.

2. Denmark

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Denmark is known for its environmental sustainability and high quality of life, which undeniably contribute to the happiness of those who live there.

1. Finland

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For the sixth year in a row, Finland accepts first place as the happiest country in the world.

With uncontested scores in all areas, the country is known for its excellent education system, high incomes, and accessible healthcare.

1. Finland

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Additionally, Lapland in Finland is also affectionately known as the home of Santa Claus, adding a little magic to an already striking country. 

Northern Europe Reigns 

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Interestingly, five of the top ten happiest countries are based in Northern Europe.

In fact, Israel and New Zealand aside, Northern and North-Western Europe are home to the remainder of the list, proving that whatever they’re doing, they’re doing it well.

Northern Europe Reigns 

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As for the country with the lowest researched happiness, Afghanistan took last place, with perceptions of corruption being the lowest-ranked item out of all six. 

*As recorded by the World Happiness Report, Israel placed fourth overall in 2023; however, this information has been omitted from the overall analysis due to the present hostile conflict.

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This article was produced by TPR Teaching. Source. 

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

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