Top 10 Happiest Countries in the World 2023

The World Happiness Report (WHR) of 2023 briefly describes the happiness levels of more than 150 countries based on global survey data from people. The report is an annual publication of the UN’s sustainable development solutions network. It analyzes people’s well-being and living standards according to various happiness perspectives.

Let’s see the list of the world’s top 10 happiest countries.

10 New Zealand, Happiness Index: 7.123

New Zealand
Elevated view of city buildings and harbor seen on a clear summer’s morning as viewed from Mount Victoria. Wellington is the capital of NZ.

Image credit: Wirestock/Depositphotos

According to the latest survey, New Zealand has dropped one place in the rankings for 2023. However, it offers superior healthcare, freedom, income, and honesty. Resilience and strong social connections contribute to its high happiness ranking. The Kiwis’ social support system is also a significant factor in their happiness.

Furthermore, the country proposed the world’s first “Well-being Budget,” which aims to tackle climate change, social exclusion, poor health, digital transformation, housing, and domestic violence. New Zealand’s comprehensive and mostly publicly-funded healthcare system offers high quality.

9 Luxembourg, Happiness Index: 7.228

Old Town Luxembourg City from top view by day.

Luxembourg offers its people a high quality of life with a beautiful landscape of castles, lakes, and rolling hills. The country is mostly rural and is famous for its dense Ardennes forest and nature parks. Six years ago, it was the 20th happiest country in the world. Now, it has the highest GDP per capita.

Workers in Luxembourg earn an average gross salary of around 5,000 euros per month. They enjoy an excellent work-life balance with generous paid vacation days and reasonable working hours. Moreover, Luxembourgers are relatively quiet, but once we connect with them, we will become more at ease.

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8 Switzerland, Happiness Index: 7.240

Beautiful Architecture at Bern, the capital city of Switzerland.

After getting the top position in the 2015 World Happiness Report, Switzerland slowly lost its ground until this year. Despite this, Switzerland still boasts an average lifespan of 83.4 years. Studies have shown that chocolate can boost dopamine levels in the brain, and Switzerland is famous for producing the best chocolates in the world. 

The Swiss works on an average of 35.2 hours per week, according to the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It is also a country with fantastic landscapes and delicious cheese, often called the “king of cheese.” However, Switzerland records one of the lowest obesity rates in Europe.

7 Norway, Happiness Index: 7.315

Stavanger, Norway city view with a harbor and colorful traditional wooden houses.

Image credit: Kisa_Markiza/Depositphotos

According to the World Happiness Report 2023, Norway slipped one spot to become the 7th happiest country. However, Norway still stands out for its excellent education system, generous social support, high life expectancy, economic growth, and freedom. One of the unique aspects of Norway is its employee-friendly working conditions.

Norwegians willingly pay taxes because they enjoy free healthcare, education, unemployment benefits, and pensions. They believe in enforcing equality through democracy and also receive unemployment insurance and child support. Despite its large population, the country’s low crime rate is another contributing factor to people’s happiness.

6 Sweden, Happiness Index: 7.395

Scenic summer aerial panorama of the Old Town (Gamla Stan) in Stockholm, Sweden.

Sweden holds 6th in the ranking, climbing one spot in 2022. What’s the Secret? Swedes have the perfect work-life balance, allowing them to spend more time with nature. Sweden offers excellent healthcare services. Besides, its college education, as well as Health care, are free. Swedes boast the world’s one of the longest life expectancies.

Moreover, Swedes are some of the most generous people, donating around one percent of their gross national product to humanitarian aid programs annually. Furthermore, Swedes benefit from the longest paid vacation period of 25 days. However, taxes are high in Sweden, with a personal income tax rate of over 60%.

5 Netherlands, Happiness Index: 7.403

Traditional old buildings in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The Netherlands has regained its 5th position in the World Happiness Report 2023. The Dutch enjoy high-quality education and an excellent living standard while benefiting from superior healthcare services and social benefits. They have excellent education prospects, better healthcare services, social benefits, and quality of life.

The country ensures quality education, safety measures, and good health for Dutch children. Perceived stability and democracy also contribute to its sustained happiness. Additionally, the comprehensive system of dams, floodgates, drainage ditches, canals, and pumping stations safeguards the country from flooding and storm surges.

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4 Israel, Happiness Index: 7.473

Jerusalem Old City from Mount of Olives

Israel has made notable progress from 9th to 4th place in the World Happiness Report of 2023. Being a social and communally oriented society, they prioritize relationships, making them happier. They have made a strong economic recovery after the COVID-19 Pandemic period.

The PERMA Model, including Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Achievement, contributes to their happiness and well-being. Jewish society possesses a high level of hope and optimism. But the survey didn’t consider the recent social turmoil over the government’s judicial reforms for the 2023 ranking.

3 Iceland, Happiness Index: 7.530

Beautiful super wide-angle aerial view of Reykjavik, Iceland with harbor and skyline mountains and scenery beyond the city, seen from the observation tower of Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral.

Iceland has moved up from fourth to third place in the World Happiness Report 2023. So, what makes Iceland rank so high on this report? The people of Iceland can rest easy knowing that they won’t have to worry about medical expenses, health care, maternity or paternity leave, higher education fees, and daycare costs.

Icelanders might have to pay high taxes, but the benefits of excellent social services and low crime rates make it all worthwhile. It is one of the happiest countries that consistently ranks high for gender equality. Also, the stunning natural beauty surrounding Icelanders is sure to lift their spirits!

2 Denmark, Happiness Index: 7.586

Copenhagen City, Denmark.

Denmark has come in second place for the third consecutive year as the happiest country. What makes the Danes so content? It could be due to their low crime and corruption rates, top-notch education, $20 minimum wage, 33-hour workweek, generous unemployment benefits, free healthcare and education, and highly subsidized childcare. Denmark excels in social equality and community spirit.

Despite having nine major political parties, none advocate dismantling the country’s welfare state. While Danish citizens pay the highest taxes in the world, they do so happily. Additionally, the cultural concept of “hygge” is highly valued in Denmark.

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1 Finland, Happiness Index: 7.804

Scenic summer aerial panorama of the Old Town architecture in Helsinki, Finland.

Have you ever wondered why Finns are so happy? Well, it’s not because of the weather in Finland! Instead, the state policies prioritizing welfare, freedom, equality, and mutual trust have made Finland the happiest country for five consecutive years. Their social safety network, commitment to gender equality, high-quality education system, and culture of trust also contribute to their happiness.

They practice wealth redistribution and progressive taxation to provide free healthcare and education for all citizens. The Finnish people have high confidence in their police force due to the absence of brutality or corruption incidents.