4 Countries With the Happiest People

What makes us truly happy?

Is happiness contagious? This seems to be the question to ponder when we think about happiest countries. Even though happiness is subjective and the interpretations of it vary depending on individuals, many of us still share some commonalities that can ultimately lead to happiness.

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network collaborated with Gallup World Poll data to conduct the World Happiness Report (a global survey turned publication) to better understand the commonalities that make us happy. It includes articles and national happiness rankings based on respondents’ assessments of their own lives, including social and economic well-being. The report measures happiness by taking into account various quality of life factors that affect us all.

These factors are categorised as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, perception towards corruption and dystopia.

Upon running this survey across nations worldwide, the findings proved to be an interesting one! Below are the top four happiest countries in the world, by rank, for the year of 2022.

#1 FINLAND

This marks the fifth year in a row where Finland has been consistently placed first in the rank. The Finns are said to be happy because they are satisfied with how the country takes care of its people. According to experts, Finland’s effective institutional leadership has led to higher ratings of life satisfaction.

Strategic urban planning, progressive taxation, and a strong healthcare and education system are also factors in the Finns’ happiness index. It’s also worth noting that Finland is strongly committed to closing the gender gap. It’s one of the first countries to provide fathers with nine weeks of paid paternity leave. If you’re looking for a happy place to visit, Finland could be your next stop!

#2 DENMARK

Don’t underestimate this small Scandinavian country. The nation’s size may look small, but their happiness is big! Denmark sits at the second place in the happiness ranking. What makes the Danes so happy?

According to Denmark’s official website, one of the major contributing factors is the high level of equality and a strong sense of common responsibility for social welfare that the Danes share.

Danes pay high taxes with happy smiles as they can see what they get in return. As a result of this, healthcare is almost free, there are no tuition fees for university students, childcare is subsidised and the elderly are protected. Denmark also prides itself as one of the safest countries as it’s a common practice for children aged between the ages of 8 to 9 years old to travel alone using public transportations.

#3 ICELAND

Contrary to its name, the people of Iceland aren’t icy at all! In 2022, Iceland sits as the third happiest country. What’s the secret behind this happiness you may wonder?

According to various studies, Iceland is happy simply because it’s a peaceful nation. It’s one of the few countries that does not have a military. Icelanders feel a general sense of security and this high level of trust in society can be observed when children are able to go to places without adult supervision. They further have good access to quality healthcare and education.

Interestingly, Icelanders also live life to the fullest by holding the record for top-ranked country with the highest life expectancy. According to NBC, the citizens of Iceland are able to live to an average age of 83 years old!

#4 SWITZERLAND

The secret behind Nordic happiness is trust and Switzerland shares the similar value as well. Progressive taxation helps fund education, healthcare and public transportation in Switzerland. According to various reports, Switzerland has one of the lowest tax levels in Europe and this makes it an international haven for many.

Furthermore, Switzerland is also one of the safest countries to visit and live in. The Global Peace Index has ranked Switzerland as the 11th safest place on earth in the year 2022. Switzerland also ranks in the top positions for peaceful handling of ongoing domestic and internal conflict.

Time to swiss away to Switzerland!

Now that the borders are open, many are taking this opportunity to travel abroad. If you’re looking for that much-needed vacation, why not consider visiting the happiest countries in the world?

It’s also important to note, happiness can also be found where you are right now. Cheers!

Source: World Happiness Report 2022 (UN), Psychology Today, Visit Finland, CNN,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark’s website, NBC, BBC, Studying in Switzerland