Finland is the happiest country in the world for the seventh year in a row

In Europe

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For the seventh year in a row, Finland has landed the top spot on the World Happiness Report’s annual ranking of the happiest countries in the world.

Countries are ranked according to self-assessed life evaluations and answers to the Cantril ladder question which asks respondents to think of a ladder with the best possible life for them being a 10 and the worst being a 0 and then rate their current lives on that scale.

The Wellbeing Research Centre at the University of Oxford, which publishes the report, says that in addition to using the Cantril ladder question, the report also considers the following six variables in the more than 130 countries ranked in the report:

  1. GDP per capita
  2. Social Support
  3. Healthy life expectancy
  4. Freedom
  5. Generosity
  6. Freedom of corruption

While this year the top ten countries on the list remain mostly unchanged, the top 20 saw a bit more action. Costa Rica and Kuwait jumped to 12th and 13th place, respectively while the United States and Germany fell off the top 20 completely. The U.S. dropped from No. 15 to No. 23 this year.

Of the top ten happiest countries, only the Netherlands and Australia have populations over 15 million, and of the top 20, only Canada and the U.K. have populations over 30 million.

No. 1 happiest country in the world: Finland

Finland took the No. 1 spot on the list with a score of 7.741. According to Frank Martela, a Finnish philosopher and psychology researcher, Finnish people are happy because they have a strong sense of community and relatedness, do good deeds for other people, and find a clear purpose for themselves.

Finland ranked as the happiest country in the world, according to The World Happiness Report.

Lingxiao Xie | Moment | Getty Images

“It would be more accurate to say that Finland is the country that has the least unhappy people in the world,” Martela tells CNBC Make It.

Finland outperforms the average country in education, work-life balance, environment quality, social connections, safety and life satisfaction, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Better Life Index.

Life expectancy at birth in Finland is around 82 years, 85 for women and 79 for men.

The Finnish people’s strong sense of community is further proven by the OECD Better Life Index, which states that 96% of people believe they know someone they can rely on in their time of need.

Top 10 happiest countries in the world

  1. Finland
  2. Denmark
  3. Iceland
  4. Sweden
  5. Israel
  6. Netherlands
  7. Norway
  8. Luxembourg
  9. Switzerland
  10. Australia

Denmark ranked as the No. 2 happiest country in the world, according to the 2024 World Happiness Report.

Klaus Vedfelt | Digitalvision | Getty Images

Denmark ranked No. 2 on the list with a score of 7.583.

The country’s high ranking is due in part to its level of equality and sense of responsibility for social welfare, according to the country’s official website. These are two things that are closely linked to happiness, according to the World Happiness Report.

While some might point out that people in Denmark pay some of the world’s highest taxes — up to half of their income — it is balanced out by the fact that most healthcare in the country is free, childcare is subsidized, university students pay no tuition and receive grants to help cover expenses while studying. The elderly receive pensions and are provided with care helpers.

According to the OECD Better Life Index, the Nordic country outperforms the average in jobs, education, health, environmental quality, social connections, civic engagement and life satisfaction. Denmark is a founding member of the OECD and NATO.

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