Happiest Countries in the World 2022

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Since 2002, the World Happiness Report has used statistical analysis to determine the world's happiest countries. In its 2021 update, the report concluded that Finland is the happiest country in the world. To determine the world's happiest country, researchers analyzed comprehensive Gallup polling data from 149 countries for the past three years, specifically monitoring performance in six particular categories: gross domestic product per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make your own life choices, generosity of the general population, and perceptions of internal and external corruption levels.

In order to properly compare each country's data, the researchers created a fictional country—christened Dystopia—filled with "the world's least-happy people." They then set Dystopia as the rock bottom value in each of the six categories and measured the scores of the real-world countries against this value. All six variables were then blended to create a single combined score for each country. Interestingly enough, the top seven happiest countries in the world for 2021 were all Northern European countries. Finland took top honors—for the fourth year in a row—with an overall score of 7.842, followed (in order) by Denmark (7.620), Switzerland (7.571), Iceland (7.554), the Netherlands (7.464), Norway (7.392), and Sweden (7.363).

The least happy country in the world for 2021 was Afghanistan, whose 149th-place ranking of 2.523 can be attributed in part to a low life expectancy rate and low gross domestic product rates per capita. It's worthwhile to note that the report was released before the recent Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, which will undoubtedly impact future scores in one way or another. Rounding out the bottom five are Zimbabwe (3.145), Rwanda (3.415), Botswana (3.467), and Lesotho (3.512). For the full list of all 149 countries and their rankings, scroll down to the table below. For more on the top seven—as well as an inspiring honorable mention—read on.

The Top 7 Happiest Countries in the World (plus an inspiring honorable mention) for 2021:

Finland

Finland ranks as the world's happiest country based on the 2021 report, with a score of 7.842 out of a total possible score of 10. The report writers credited the citizens of Finland's strong feelings of communal support and mutual trust with not only helping secure the #1 ranking, but (more importantly) helping the country as a whole navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, Finlanders felt strongly that they were free to make their own choices, and showed minimal suspicion of government corruption. Both of these factors are strong contributors to overall happiness.

Denmark

The second-happiest country in the world is Denmark, which scores 7.620. Denmark's values for each of the six variables are quite comparable to those of Finland. In fact, Denmark even outscored the leader in multiple categories, including GDP per capita, generosity, and perceived lack of corruption, demonstrating that it may claim the top spot sometime in the near future.

Switzerland

As the third-happiest country in the world, Switzerland scored a total of 7.571 out of 10. In general, the Swiss are very healthy, with one of the world's lowest obesity rates and a long life expectancy. The Swiss also have a very high median salary, about 75% higher than that of the United States, and the highest GDP per capita in the top seven. Additionally, there is a strong sense of community in Switzerland and a firm belief that it is a safe and clean country—which is statistically true. Along with Iceland and Denmark, Switzerland is one of the world's safest countries.

Iceland

Iceland ranks as 2021's fourth-happiest country in the entire world, with a total score of 7.554. Of the top seven happiest countries around the globe, Iceland has the highest feeling of social support (higher even than Finland, Norway, and Denmark, which all tied for second place). Iceland also had the second-highest generosity score in the top seven, though it's worth noting that it ranked only 11th worldwide.

Netherlands

Edging out Norway for the honor of fifth-happiest country in the world is the Netherlands (also known as Holland to many tulip lovers), with a score of 7.464. The Netherlands scored higher in the generosity category than any other top-seven country and also displayed an impressive lack of perceived corruption.

Norway

The citizens of sixth-place Norway (7.392) feel they are being well cared for by their government thanks to universal healthcare and free college tuition. Norwegians also enjoy a healthy work-life balance, working an average of 38 hours per week vs. 41.5. hours per week in the United States. Additionally, Norway has a low crime rate and a strong sense of community among its citizens—a quality it shares with many of the top seven.

Sweden

Seventh-place Sweden (7.363) ranks high, if not quite highest, in virtually every category measured. For example: Sweden has a higher lack of corruption score than all but four countries worldwide (two of which are Finland and Denmark), the fourteenth-highest GDP per capita of all 149 countries measured, and the fourth-highest life expectancy in the top seven.

Honorable Mention: Bhutan

Bhutan was excluded from the 2021 report due to a technicality: Each country's scores are based upon detailed Gallup polls, but Gallup did not conduct polling in Bhutan during the required timeframe. However, the report's writers made a special effort to pay tribute to Bhutan, saying it "once again provided an inspiring example for the world about how to combine health and happiness. They made explicit use of the principles of Gross National Happiness in mobilizing the whole population in collaborative efforts to avoid even a single COVID-19 death in 2020, despite having strong international travel links." Impressive indeed. If Gallup begins polling in Bhutan, Northern Europe's hold on happiness may soon have competition.

Happiest Countries in the World 2022

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Happiest Countries in the World 2022

Rank Country Happiness 2021 Happiness 2020 2022 Population
1Finland7.8427.8095,554,960
2Denmark7.627.6465,834,950
3Switzerland7.5717.568,773,637
4Iceland7.5547.504345,393
5Netherlands7.4647.44917,211,447
6Norway7.3927.4885,511,370
7Sweden7.3637.35310,218,971
8Luxembourg7.3247.238642,371
9New Zealand7.2777.34,898,203
10Austria7.2687.2949,066,710
11Australia7.1837.22326,068,792
12Israel7.1577.1298,922,892
13Germany7.1557.07683,883,596
14Canada7.1037.23238,388,419
15Ireland7.0857.1295,020,199
16Costa Rica7.0697.1215,182,354
17United Kingdom7.0647.16568,497,907
18Czech Republic6.9656.91110,736,784
19United States6.9516.94334,805,269
20Belgium6.8346.86411,668,278
21France6.696.66465,584,518
22Bahrain6.6476.2271,783,983
23Malta6.6026.773444,033
24Taiwan6.5846.45523,888,595
25United Arab Emirates6.5616.79110,081,785
26Saudi Arabia6.4946.40635,844,909
27Spain6.4916.40146,719,142
28Italy6.4836.38760,262,770
29Slovenia6.4616.3632,078,034
30Guatemala6.4356.39918,584,039
31Uruguay6.4316.443,496,016
32Singapore6.3776.3775,943,546
33Slovakia6.3316.2815,460,193
34Brazil6.336.376215,353,593
35Mexico6.3176.465131,562,772
36Jamaica6.3095.892,985,094
37Lithuania6.2556.2152,661,708
38Cyprus6.2236.1591,223,387
39Estonia6.1896.0221,321,910
40Panama6.186.3054,446,964
41Uzbekistan6.1796.25834,382,084
42Chile6.1726.22819,250,195
43Poland6.1666.18637,739,785
44Kazakhstan6.1526.05819,205,043
45Romania6.146.12419,031,335
46Kuwait6.1066.1024,380,326
47Serbia6.0785.7788,653,016
48El Salvador6.0616.3486,550,389
49Mauritius6.0496.1011,274,727
50Latvia6.0325.951,848,837
51Colombia6.0126.16351,512,762
52Hungary5.99269,606,259
53Thailand5.9855.99970,078,203
54Nicaragua5.9726.1376,779,100
55Japan5.945.871125,584,838
56Argentina5.9295.97546,010,234
57Portugal5.9295.91110,140,570
58Honduras5.9195.95310,221,247
59Croatia5.8825.5054,059,286
60Philippines5.886.006112,508,994
61South Korea5.8455.87251,329,899
62Peru5.845.79733,684,208
63Bosnia And Herzegovina5.8135.6743,249,317
64Moldova5.7665.6084,013,171
65Ecuador5.7645.92518,113,361
66Kyrgyzstan5.7445.5426,728,271
67Greece5.7235.51510,316,637
68Bolivia5.7165.74711,992,656
69Mongolia5.6775.4563,378,078
70Paraguay5.6535.6927,305,843
71Montenegro5.5815.546627,950
72Dominican Republic5.5455.68911,056,370
73Belarus5.5345.549,432,800
74Russia5.4775.546145,805,947
75Hong Kong5.4775.517,604,299
76Tajikistan5.4665.5569,957,464
77Vietnam5.4115.35398,953,541
78Libya5.415.4897,040,745
79Malaysia5.3845.38433,181,072
80Indonesia5.3455.286279,134,505
81Republic of the Congo5.3425.1945,797,805
82China5.3395.1241,448,471,400
83Ivory Coast5.3065.23327,742,298
84Armenia5.2834.6772,971,966
85Nepal5.2695.13730,225,582
86Bulgaria5.2665.1026,844,597
87Maldives5.1985.198540,985
88Azerbaijan5.1715.16510,300,205
89Cameroon5.1425.08527,911,548
90Senegal5.1324.98117,653,671
91Albania5.1174.8832,866,374
92North Macedonia5.1015.162,081,304
93Ghana5.0885.14832,395,450
94Niger5.0744.9126,083,660
95Turkmenistan5.0665.1196,201,943
96Gambia5.0514.7512,558,482
97Benin5.0455.21612,784,726
98Laos5.034.8897,481,023
99Bangladesh5.0254.833167,885,689
100Guinea4.9844.94913,865,691
101South Africa4.9564.81460,756,135
102Turkey4.9485.13285,561,976
103Pakistan4.9345.693229,488,994
104Morocco4.9185.09537,772,756
105Venezuela4.8925.05329,266,991
106Georgia4.8914.6733,968,738
107Algeria4.8875.00545,350,148
108Ukraine4.8754.56143,192,122
109Iraq4.8544.78542,164,965
110Gabon4.8524.8292,331,533
111Burkina Faso4.8344.76922,102,838
112Cambodia4.834.84817,168,639
113Mozambique4.7944.62433,089,461
114Nigeria4.7594.724216,746,934
115Mali4.7234.72921,473,764
116Iran4.7214.67286,022,837
117Uganda4.6364.43248,432,863
118Liberia4.6254.5585,305,117
119Kenya4.6074.58356,215,221
120Tunisia4.5964.39212,046,656
121Lebanon4.5844.7726,684,849
122Namibia4.5744.5712,633,874
123Myanmar4.4264.30855,227,143
124Jordan4.3954.63310,300,869
125Chad4.3554.42317,413,580
126Sri Lanka4.3254.32721,575,842
127Eswatini4.3084.3081,184,817
128Comoros4.2894.289907,419
129Egypt4.2834.151106,156,692
130Ethiopia4.2754.186120,812,698
131Mauritania4.2274.3754,901,981
132Madagascar4.2084.16629,178,077
133Togo4.1074.1878,680,837
134Zambia4.0733.75919,470,234
135Sierra Leone3.8493.9268,306,436
136India3.8193.5731,406,631,776
137Burundi3.7753.77512,624,840
138Yemen3.6583.52731,154,867
139Tanzania3.6233.47663,298,550
140Haiti3.6153.72111,680,283
141Malawi3.63.53820,180,839
142Lesotho3.5123.6532,175,699
143Botswana3.4673.4792,441,162
144Rwanda3.4153.31213,600,464
145Zimbabwe3.1453.29915,331,428
146Afghanistan2.5232.56740,754,388

Happiest Countries in the World 2022

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