Looking to live the happy life? Consider a move to Finland.
The county has been named the world’s happiest country for the sixth year in a row in the annual World Happiness Report. The U.S. ranked 15th, one spot higher than it was in 2022 and notably higher than in 2019.
Globally, in fact, there was plenty of good news about world happiness. Acts of benevolence last year were about 25% more common than they were in the days before the pandemic. And despite the pain and suffering of the past few years, the organizers of the study said that people have remained as happy in 2020–2022 as they were in the pre-pandemic period of 2017–2019.
How was that possible? It’s the power of friendship, the report says.
“Positive social connections and support in 2022 were twice as prevalent as loneliness in seven key countries spanning six global regions,” the report reads. “They were also strongly tied to overall ratings of how satisfied people are with their relationships with other people. The importance of these positive social relations helps further to explain the resilience of life evaluations during times of crisis.”
When it comes to happiness, the Nordic states seem to have found the key to enjoying life, with many ranking high on the list, which looks at everything from healthy life expectancy to community generosity.
Afghanistan and Lebanon remain the two unhappiest countries and both have an average life expectancy that’s five points lower (on a 10-point scale) than the 10 happiest countries. Ukraine came in 92nd in the list of 109 countries.
Beyond the U.S., the United Kingdom came in at 19th, Australia was 12th, and Frances was ranked at 21. New to the top 20 countries this year was Lithuania, which has been on the rise for the past six years. In 2017, the country was ranked way down at number 52.
Here’s a look at the 10 happiest countries in the world:
- New Zealand