- For the six years in a row, Finland became the happiest country in the world, based on reports from the World Happiest Report. Reports have emerged identifying the happiest countries in the world in 2023 and the factors that influenced their greater happiness. The United Nations marked March 20, the International Day of Happiness, marking the 10th anniversary in 2023.
According to reports from the World Happiness Report, Finland has become the happiest country for the sixth time in a row, landing the top spot. Six key factors are important in determining the results, based on the UN Sustainable Development Solution Network:
- Social support
- Absence of Corruption
With the help of these factors, the report evaluates the happiness gap between the top and bottom halves of the people in each of the countries that are ranked. “This gap is small in countries where almost everyone is very unhappy, and in the top countries where almost no one is unhappy,” the report states. Let’s get to the list of the happiest countries in the world in 2023 without further ado.
Happiest Countries in the World in 2023
The ranking of this year is quite similar to those of the past as the same Nordic countries are occupying the top three places on the list. Similar to 2022, Denmark came in second while Iceland came third. Finnish philosopher and psychology researcher Frank Martela believes that one of the most important factors as to why people in Finland are happy is that they do not compare themselves with their neighbors. Moreover, they do not overlook the advantages that nature has and they value community circle of trust.
“Focus more on what makes you happy and less on looking successful. The first step to true happiness is to set your own standards, instead of comparing yourself to others,” Martela tells CNBC Make It.
Finland is more than happy to share the wisdom as it offers a free “masterclass of happiness” in order to guide travelers in finding their “inner Finn.” The experts will help those lucky participants with four crucial themes: nature and lifestyle, health and balance, design and every day, and food and well-being.
Although the United States did not come in the top 10, it was ranked 15 on this list. Here are the happiest countries in the world in 2023.
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Top 10 happiest countries in the world in 2023
- New Zealand
- United States
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
Finland and all its neighbors, including Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, and Norway rank high on the list of the happiest countries in the world in 2023. It is mostly thanks to healthy life expectancy, GDP per capita, social support, low corruption, generosity in a community where people support one another and freedom to do what makes you happy.
The fact that Denmark is ranked Second is courtesy of their country’s level of quality. In addition, their sense of responsibility for social welfare, based on their official website. Although the people in Denmark pay a lot of taxes, almost half of their income, it is balance by the fact that the country’s healthcare is mostly free and university students do not have to pay a tuition and get a grant to be a help for covering their expenses when they study. Moreover, childcare is subsidized while elderly get pensions and are under the support of care helpers.
Despite the fact that Iceland may be the most sparsely populated European country, its people are the happiest in the world courtesy of their attitude towards relying on other people and that they share a strong sense of community among themselves. Based on reports from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in Iceland, 98% of the population thinks that they have someone in their time of need if they need to rely on another person. This is the highest rate according to OECD as the average is 91%.
We all cannot move to these countries. So, is there something that our countries can learn from these top happiest countries?
“Is it, are they doing things that we wish we’d seen before and we can start doing? Or is it something unique about their climate and history that make them different? And unfortunately, at least from my perspective, the answer is the former,” said Helliwell, a professor emeritus at the Vancouver School of Economics, University of British Columbia.
This country has been the happiest country in the world for quite some time. You might wonder why Finns are happier than others. The answer lies on a number of factors including, lower income inequality, in other words the difference between the highest paid and the lowest paid, high social support, freedom to make key decisions, and low levels of corruption. As for the lower income inequality, it means that the when the level is lower, money matters less and people are happier. In addition to all that, Finland’s healthcare system is quite impressive and it plays a crucial role in people’s happiness. Public transport is also quite affordable and reliable, with its Helsinki airport being one of the best in northern Europe.
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Denmark is often among the top happiest countries in the world when its citizens are asked about how happy they are. One might wonder, what makes Denmark so happy? Is it the fact that the schools and universities are tuition free and high quality, or the free public health care? Is it because there is not much crime happening there or less corruption takes place? Or is it the hygge of Danes?
Well, according to reports, happiness is linked with social equality and community spirit in a great deal, with Denmark doing well on both. Despite their being nine various political parties in Denmark, they do not seriously back dismantling the Danish welfare state. Although they pay a lot of taxes, around 25% for most items and up to 150% on new cars, the people of the country have no problem paying those taxes as there are lots of things they get in return. Most healthcare systems are free to people. University student do not pay tuition but they rather receive help from the government to support themselves during their studies. Not to mention that childcare is subsidized and elderly receive care helpers who go to their houses.
Iceland is also on the list of the happiest countries in the world in 2023. Although its people are resilient and tough, they are quite kind. Iceland people have come on top of the list for many years. Despite having long winters, harsh weather and challenging living conditions, the people are quite cheerful and optimistic. One of the reasons behind their happiness is their sense of community. Although there are only 350,000 people living in Iceland, the do not feel lonely as they all have someone they can rely on in their times of need, according to reports from the UN.
Another reason is the equality and inclusion; paying men and women differently for the same job, for example, is considered illegal. Parents as a couple receive a nine-month paid maternity leave to share as they see fit.
The fourth one on the list of the happiest countries in the world in 2023 is Israel. Israelis have been the happiest they have ever been in a decade. One might wonder why exactly are Israelis happy? Aren’t their houses expensive? Isn’t their security awful? Isn’t there corruption? Examining the data based on this view might have been a difficult thing to do. Reports claim that those Israelis who have moved to the US, France or Germany have actually moved to places where the happiness rate is lower than their own country. The six factors that were examined to put Israel fourth were income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity.
The quality of life and education is quite high in Netherlands. There are many factors putting Netherlands on the list of the happiest countries in the world in 2023, with one of them being better work life balance. The way the Dutch structure their work might have helped them achieve a certain level of happiness. They have flexible hours and approach to work-life balance. In addition, many of the people in Netherlands exercise a lot and it might be benefiting the living in Holland. Most of the people in Amsterdam use bike as a mean of transportation and the country is 28th among all the European countries when it comes to physical exercise. Moreover, people’s mindset says a lot and makes a great difference. The country is free, liberal, open and friendly. Therefore, it is a popular destination for many students and tourists.
Sweden is the next one of the happiest countries in the world in 2023. The following factors play important roles in making the people of the country happy to be living there: the economy, climate, waste, sustainability, land uses, life expectancy and the quality of life.
Transportation is pretty easy in Sweden as there are many bus routes that go all over Sweden, persuading people not to use their own cars. The weather is also very mild, not too hot despite being mostly icebound. But in the winter, the temperature can drop very low. In addition to all of those, the country’s government try their best to put an end to poverty. It does so by controlling all the major resources and main industries.
Norwegian people are happy for their country to be names one of the happiest countries in the world in 2023. During the last decade, Norway has constantly ranked among the top, according to the World Happiness Report. Although happiness can be subjective to each individual and it is hard to measure it scientifically, researches used some categories to asses the contentment level of each country.
“Our measurement of subjective well-being continues to rely on three main indicators: life evaluations, positive emotions and negative emotions,” the reporter said. “Happiness rankings are according to life evaluations as the more stable measure of the qualify of people’s lives,” the reporter stated.
The country does a great job in the category of life expectancy and social support as well as freedom to make life choices. However, when it comes to generosity and perception of corruption, it does less well.
For starters, there is Swiss chocolate. Kidding aside, it might be difficult to find an affordable apartment in the largest cities of the country. However, the Swiss do not have a problem with that. Multiple factors contribute to the longer and healthier lives of Swiss people. They consist of well-distributed material wealth, a healthy and balanced diet, low risk working conditions, and clean environment. The same is true about their happiness. In addition, the strong economic performance of Switzerland has made people happy over the years. Moreover, peace and human rights are quite important for the country, making this one of the happiest countries in the world in 2023.
Luxembourg is also one of the happiest countries in the world in 2023. The country’s freedom when it comes to life choices has definitely been crucial in helping it rank high in the list. Moreover, the life expectancy of Luxembourg, among all the countries covered by the study is really high.
The tenth one among the happiest countries in the world in 2023 is New Zealand. Social support is one of the main factors that put New Zealanders’ rank so high in happiness. The country does its best in increasing support of well-being on government and individual level. They are so connected and close to one another in their time of needs, which is very important in making people happy.