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Finland declared happiest country sixth time in a row

Shakeel Sobhan
March 20, 2023

The World Happiness Report surveys how satisfied people are with their lives in different countries. Germany was in 16th place this year, dropping two spots.

Finnish fans celebrate in a bar in Helsinki
Finns were declared the happiest population for the sixth year in a row by the World Happiness Report Image: Markku Ulander/Lehtikuva/AP/picture alliance

Finland has maintained its position as the country with the happiest population for the sixth year in a row, according to the World Happiness Report released on Monday.

The report, which is compiled by scientists in the United States and based on surveys by the Gallup Institute, asks a nationally-representative sample of people how satisfied they are with their lives.

Along with the Finns, Denmark and Iceland rounded up the top three happy countries.

Israel climbed five spots to be in fourth place this year, with the Netherlands in fifth. Other countries in the top ten include Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Luxembourg and New Zealand.

Germany, however, dropped two spots from last year to 16th place.

The United States, United Kingdom and France ranked 15th, 19th and 21st respectively.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan and Lebanon remained the two unhappiest countries in the survey.

The report emphasized that significant differences in country rankings for life evaluations were only seen at the extremes, as in the case of Finland at the top and Afghanistan and Lebanon at the bottom.

Everyone entitled to basic human rights

The report identified factors that contribute to supporting life evaluations — including "income, health, having someone to count on, having a sense of freedom to make key life decisions, generosity, and the absence of corruption."

People gather in Helsinki
Along with the Finns, Denmark and Iceland rounded up the top three happy countriesImage: Alessandro Rampazzo/AA/picture alliance / AA

Mental health was highlighted as a key component of subjective well-being and "a risk factor for future physical health and longevity."

The report emphasized that everyone is entitled to basic human rights without discrimination, including the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression and the right to work and education.

In July 2012, the United Nations General Assembly declared March 20 as International Day of Happiness, which promotes the idea that "the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal."

The happiest people on earth?

DPA material contributed to this report.

Edited by: Elizabeth Schumacher