Each year, the United Nations publishes their World Happiness Report. The report is released on the same day as International Day of Happiness, a celebration of the importance of joy in our lives. Happiness can be defined in several ways, but this report focuses on areas of income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support, and generosity. With all those factors in mind, these are the five happiest countries in the world.
For the second year in a row, Finland claims the title of happiest country in the world. With its focus on social progress, and their impressive education system, it makes sense Finland kept its reigning title. Home to some truly magnificent views of the aurora borealis, Finland’s arctic landscapes and natural wonders have awed people throughout history. With a stable way of life, and close-knit residents, Finland has a lot going for itself.
2019 marks the seventh year in a row that Denmark has ranked among the top three happiest countries in the world. Known around the world for their “hygge,” or the ability to create a cozy environment with loved ones, this practice is a key factor to their happiness. With their high-quality education and health care, Danes can rest assured that they’re living the good life.
Adding to the list of Nordic countries is their namesake—Norway. The climate may be dark and gloomy, but its residents are not. Social support is big here, and Norwegians band together as a result. Another key to their happiness is their adherence to the “law of Jante.” The law of Jante keeps Norwegians levelheaded by emphasizing the value of putting society above the individual, being humble, and avoiding jealousy.
Though fairly isolated, Iceland ranks consistently high on the happiness report. Some of this happiness could be linked to their bookish tendencies, as the country hosts the highest number of book and magazine publications per capita. With good friends and good books, there’s a lot for Icelanders to smile about. Its collection of natural wonders is nothing to scoff at, either. Iceland checks all the right boxes with a beautiful country filled with bright people.
5. The Netherlands
Known for their progressive and open nature, the Netherlands takes its place as the 5th happiest country in the world. With their penchant for biking, the Dutch are lively and outdoorsy folks. Alongside their active lifestyle, residents can enjoy the natural beauty of their bountiful tulip fields. Full of tolerant and open-minded individuals, it’s no surprise the Netherlands made the cut.