The Netherlands is the fifth happiest country in the world, according to the World Happiness Report 2023. The Dutch also ranked fifth in the happiness report last year. Finland residents are the happiest in the world for the sixth year running.
The American scientists behind the World Happiness Report compile it annually based on data collected through surveys by the Gallup Institute. A representative group of each country is surveyed about things like their positive and negative emotions, the support they receive and give in their community, corruption in their governments, and their physical and mental health. The researchers also look at people’s prosperity and the GDP per resident of a country.
The countries at the top of the World Happiness ranking, including the Netherlands, tend to score well in all categories surveyed. The top five happiest countries are Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Israel, and the Netherlands.
The countries at the bottom tend to be wracked by conflict, poverty, or corruption. Afghanistan is the least happy county in the world, followed by Lebanon, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Of the happiest countries, the Netherlands had the smallest gap between the most and least happy people. Netherlands residents experience happiness relatively equally. The country was second only to Afghanistan – the least happy country in the world, according to the ranking.
“We base our usual happiness rankings on a three-year average of these life evaluations since the larger sample size enables more precise estimates,” the researchers said. That also means that the coronavirus pandemic still played a significant role in this year’s report, with data coming from 2020-2022.
The researchers noted that people’s experience of happiness was “remarkably resilient” through the pandemic. The global average happiness score between 2020 and 2022 was about the same as in the 2017 to 2019 period before the pandemic happened.
The top 25 happiest countries
- New Zealand
- United States
- United Kingdom
- Costa Rica