The World’s 10 Happiest Countries |

The World’s 10 Happiest Countries

If you've ever wondered which nations are the happiest, the World Happiness Report has the answer!

Posted on

20 March 2017

Last updated on 18 October 2017
The World’s 10 Happiest Countries

Traditionally, the success of a country is often determined by its economy. However, it’s becoming more and more obvious that money alone doesn’t always equal happiness. And since happiness is really the ultimate goal on the individual level, it should be the same for policy makers.

Happiness is now increasingly considered to be a better measure of a country’s social progress and the goal of public policy.  

That’s where the World Happiness Report comes in. Produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), the World Happiness Report ranks 155 countries by their happiness level. The 2017 survey was released today at the United Nations in celebration on World Happiness Day.

SEE ALSO: Top 15 healthiest countries for expats to live in

This is the fifth time the report comes out and it has gained widespread interest with every year. Measuring happiness and achieving well-being have become primary indicators of a society’s human development. 

Many countries are now increasingly using this type of data to improve policies that make their people’s lives better. Focusing only on economic growth, while important, is a narrow approach and doesn’t always promote a prosperous and just society.


The World Happiness Report involves measuring six factors:

  • GDP per capita
  • Healthy years of life expectancy
  • Social support (measured by having someone to count on in times of trouble)
  • Trust (measured by a perceived absence of corruption in government and business)
  • Perceived freedom to make life decisions
  • Generosity (measured by donations)

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The top ten countries rank highly in all factors. They also remain the same as last year, but with some shuffling of places. Here are the top 10 along with some fun facts! 

10. Sweden (7.284)

There is a tradition called fika, which roughly means break time, when locals take time out of their day to have a coffee and catch up.

The World’s 10 Happiest Countries
Photo: Gregor Lengler, Laif/Redux

9. Australia (7.284)

Nearly seven million square kilometres, or 91 per cent of Australia, is covered by native vegetation and its ocean territory is the world's third largest.

The World’s 10 Happiest Countries

8. New Zealand (7.314)

New Zealand is one of the most biodiverse islands in the world.

The World’s 10 Happiest Countries

7. Canada (7.316)

Canada is the second largest country in the world by area.

The World’s 10 Happiest Countries

6. Netherlands (7.377)

Citizens of Netherlands have the highest rates of physical activity in the world, partially due to its 20,000 miles of bicycle lanes.

The World’s 10 Happiest Countries

5. Finland (7.469)

There are around 3 million saunas around the country, even though the population is around 5.5 million.

The World’s 10 Happiest Countries
Photo: Gregor Lengler, Laif/Redux

4. Switzerland (7.494)

The country has the lowest obesity rates in Europe.

The World’s 10 Happiest Countries

3. Iceland (7.504)

Roughly 85 per cent of Iceland’s energy is from domestically-produced renewable energy sources, of which over half is geothermal alone, making it the world’s highest share of renewable energy.

The World’s 10 Happiest Countries

2. Denmark (7.522)

Denmark has a lot of free public services, including healthcare and education.

The World’s 10 Happiest Countries

1. Norway (7.537)

Norway is home to some of the most amazing fjords, mountains, islands, seashore, lakes, northern lights, midnight sun and abundant nature.

The World’s 10 Happiest Countries