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Top 10 happiest countries in the world for 2024

Eleanor Roosevelt once famously said, “Happiness is not a goal… it’s a by-product of a life well lived” Pursuing happiness is indeed a universal endeavour and a fundamental aspect of being human. The United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, in collaboration with Gallup, the Oxford Wellbeing Research Centre, and the WHR’s Editorial Board, publishes the World Happiness Report annually including the happiest countries in the world.

This report offers valuable insights into the well-being of citizens and helps governments, policymakers, and organisations understand the factors contributing to people's happiness while identifying areas for improvement. The 2024 World Happiness Report was recently released, and as expected, Nordic countries continue to dominate the top rankings. Finland, for the seventh consecutive year, is ranked as the world's happiest country, followed by Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden.

List of happiest countries in the world 2024

World's happiest countries

Finland | Happiness score: 7.741

Finland has been ranked as the happiest country in the world for several consecutive years. Its high score is attributed to a combination of factors including vast natural beauty, strong social support systems, low levels of corruption, and a healthy work-life balance. Finnish citizens enjoy a high quality of life, characterised by a strong sense of community, a tendency to help others, and a clear sense of purpose. Finland also boasts a high average life expectancy and a significant proportion of the population who feel they have someone to rely on in times of need.

Denmark | Happiness score: 7.583
Denmark is known for its high levels of equality and comprehensive social welfare systems, which include free healthcare, subsidised childcareld care, tuition-free universities, and generous pensions. These factors contribute to high levels of life satisfaction. The Danish people benefit from strong social connections, high levels of civic engagement, and an emphasis on work-life balance, which enhances their overall well-being.

Iceland | Happiness score: 7.525

Iceland shares many of the same social support and economic factors as Finland and Denmark that contribute to high levels of happiness. The country's natural beauty, with its volcanic landscapes and hot springs, adds to the well-being of its citizens. Icelandic people enjoy a strong sense of community, social support, and a healthy balance between work and leisure.

Sweden | Happiness score: 7.344
Sweden ranks highly due to its generous social welfare benefits, low levels of corruption, and a stable economy. The Swedish government invests heavily in healthcare, education, and social services, which contributes to the well-being of its citizens. Additionally, Sweden is committed to environmental protection and sustainability, which enhances the quality of life.

Israel | Happiness score: 7.341
Israel ranks as the happiest country in the Middle East and fifth globally. The country’s high ranking is likely due to its strong economy, democratic institutions, and vibrant culture. Despite challenges, Israeli citizens report high levels of life satisfaction and resilience.

Netherlands| Happiness score: 7.319
The Netherlands enjoys a high standard of living, with strong social support, economic stability, and a healthy work-life balance. The Dutch benefit from a well-developed infrastructure, excellent healthcare, and education systems. Social connections and civic engagement are also significant factors contributing to their happiness.

Norway | Happiness score: 7.302
Norway's high happiness score is driven by its high GDP per capita, robust social support systems, and healthy life expectancy. The Norwegian government invests heavily in education, healthcare, and social services, ensuring a high quality of life for its citizens. The natural beauty and outdoor lifestyle also play a role in enhancing well-being.

Luxembourg | Happiness score: 7.122
Luxembourg, despite its small size, boasts a high GDP per capita and provides a stable, prosperous environment for its residents. The country is known for its multilingual culture, strong economy, and high quality of life. The well-developed social support systems and healthcare contribute to the overall happiness of its citizens.

Switzerland | Happiness score: 7.060
Switzerland consistently ranks highly due to its strong economy, high incomes, low corruption, and high quality of life. The Swiss benefit from excellent healthcare, education, and infrastructure. Additionally, the country’s political stability and commitment to environmental sustainability enhance the well-being of its residents.

Australia | Happiness score: 7.057
Australia is the only non-European country in the top 10. Its happiness is driven by a strong economy, democratic institutions, and high quality of life. Australians enjoy a healthy work-life balance, a strong sense of community, and access to beautiful natural environments, including beaches, rainforests, and outback landscapes. The country's robust healthcare and education systems also contribute significantly to its high happiness score.