Want to know which is the happiest country in the world? Here’s an updated list of the happiest countries in the world 2020. 

Measuring happiness is somewhat complex since the definition of happiness varies from person to person. However, every year, the World Happiness Report ranks 153 countries worldwide after how happy the citizens perceive themselves. 

The following six factors are used to rank the happiest countries in the world: levels of GDP, life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom, and corruption. These are currently the most accurate ways of measuring happiness on a global scale. 

1. Finland

Finland is the happiest country in the world 2020 with a total of 7809 happiness points. It’s the third year in a row that the Finns can pride themselves on being the happiest people in the world. 

They also ranked first in the Happiness report of 2016 and 2019 and have consistently been ranking at the top for many years. The three biggest factors behind Finland’s success are a high GDP per capita, Social Support, and the absence of corruption.

Finland is especially famous for the Sauna lifestyle and even Burger King in Helsinki has its own sauna, which is one of many interesting facts about Finland.

happiest people in the world

Photo: Shutterstock

2. Denmark

Denmark is another happy country in Scandinavia and it scores high across all categories. The Danish lifestyle and “Hygge” has become famous worldwide. The Danes can pride themselves on having one of the smallest wealth gaps in the world as well as great social support.

What’s also interesting an interesting fact about Denmark is the fact that it’s also home to the most unhappy expats in the world. 

happy people in denmark

Photo: Shutterstock

3. Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world and the Swiss people can enjoy an incredibly high standard of life. In 2015, it was ranked as the happiest country in the world, but since then it has gone up and down.

Despite that, it continues to score high across all categories, including life expectancy, GDP per capita, and absence of corruption. Another thing that’s quite unique with Switzerland is the fact that Swiss citizens can collect signatures to question a law that was recently passed. 

In 2019, it was ranked in fifth place and now in 2020, Switzerland climbs up to the third place. Furthermore, the Swiss Alps are famous worldwide as well as Swiss chocolate and watches. 

Happiness in Switzerland

Photo: Tomsickova Tatyana/Shutterstock

4. Iceland

Iceland is dubbed as the land of fire and ice, and for those traveling there, it’s possible to experience all kinds of weather in a single day. Since the banking crisis in 2008, this tiny island nation has risen and is now thriving. 

It’s a rather isolated country with a relatively small population of some 360 000 people. In addition to beautiful landscapes, Iceland is also known for its education, health care system, and gender equality.

Iceland is a happy country

Photo: Vova Shevchuk/Shutterstock

5. Norway

Norway dropped two positions from 2019 but remains as one of the top 5 happiest countries in the world. Just like the other Nordic countries, Norway scores high across all categories. 

Norwegians can enjoy an excellent life expectancy, high GDP per capita, and freedom. They also have something that is quite unique, known as Allemansretten, which also exists in Sweden and Finland.

Allemansretten is a law that gives people the right to access to nature, regardless of being private or public land, which is one of many unique facts about Norway.

Norway is one of the happiest countries in the world

Photo: JaHu83 / Shutterstock.com

6. Netherlands

The Dutch can pride themselves on being one of the happiest countries in the world. The Netherlands is a liberal nation with a thriving economy and modern society. 

Additionally, Dutch people are known for being relaxed and easy-going while at the same time being creative and business-minded. Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, which is also seen as the most liberal city in the world. 

Happy girl in Netherlands

Photo: Daniel Pieterson/Shutterstock

7. Sweden

Sweden has been getting some bad publicity in recent years, but overall it remains one of the happiest nations in the world. Social support, freedom of life choices and absence of corruption are some of the main contributors. 

Swedes are in general quite happy and satisfied with their life situation. There is a Swedish word known as Lagom, which means just about right, not too much and not too little. It’s well integrated into Swedish culture and everyday life. 

Happy Swedes

Photo: Sergey Mikheev / Shutterstock.com

8. New Zealand

New Zealand is famous for many things, and happiness is just one of them. It’s also only one out of two countries in the top 10 happiest countries in the world that aren’t located in Europe. 

New Zealand remains in the same position (8th) as the previous year in the annual happiness report. 

Happy folks in New Zealand

Photo: ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock

9. Austria

Austria is ranked as the 9th happiest country in the world in 2020 after climbing 1 position from last year’s happiness report. 

There are many reasons for the high score in Austria, but the two main contributors are social support and the absence of corruption. Furthermore, Vienna is now also considered as one of the most liveable cities in the world. 

Austria is known for its beautiful mountains and elegant architecture as well as charming small towns such as Hallstatt.

Happy Austrian

Photo: sakkmesterke/Shutterstock

10. Luxembourg

Luxembourg might be one of the smallest countries in the world, but from last year, the residents can pride themselves on climbing 4 positions and a total happiness score of 7238.

In this year’s report, they pushed out Canada from the top 10 happiest countries in the world. Luxembourg is a wealthy nation and recently became the first nation in the world to offer free public transport to everyone. 

What do the world’s happiest countries have in common?

It’s important to take a closer look at what the happiest countries in the world have in common. That is the key for other nations to improve in the future. These countries are some of the richest countries in the world and they continue to rank in the top year after year.

If the world can become a happier place, that will lead us closer to global peace and thriving of all nations, and not just a few. If we can come together as a species and learn from each other’s mistakes and help one another, it’s certainly possible. 

Here are some of the common denominators among the happiest countries in the world.

  • Well-educated people
  • Social support is widely available
  • Low crime rate and high safety levels
  • Absence of war with little to no involvement in international conflicts
  • Most of their citizens feel that they are free to make their own life choices
  • Their economies are thriving and all of them have a high GDP per capita
  • The average life expectancy is longer than most other countries
  • Several of them rank high per generosity levels
Happiest nations in the world

Photo: Standret/Shutterstock

The least happy countries in the world 2020

Unfortunately, not all countries are as happy as the happiest countries in the world. There is still a lot of misery, poverty, wars, and corruption around the world. 

Afghanistan and South Sudan are the least happy countries in the world 2020, which is perhaps not very shocking since there’s an on-going humanitarian crisis.  The same goes for the Central African Republic, which is ranked as the poorest country in the world

However, there are some surprising countries in the bottom as well, such as Tanzania, Rwanda, and Botswana. The main reason for this is because of low scores on GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy as well as freedom to make life choices. 

List of the saddest countries in 2020

Most of the countries that are listed in the bottom have been doing so for years, but compared to last year, there are some notable differences. Afghanistan became the saddest country in the world and India took place in the bottom 10 countries as well. 

Additionally, there have been improvements in Central African Republic and Malawi. Syria and Haiti are no longer in the bottom 10 least happy countries as they were replaced by India and Zimbabwe. 

  1. Afghanistan
  2. South Sudan
  3. Zimbabwe
  4. Rwanda
  5. Central African Republic
  6. Tanzania
  7. Botswana
  8. Yemen
  9. Malawi
  10. India

List of the most unhappy countries in 2019

  1. South Sudan
  2. The central African Republic
  3. Afghanistan
  4. Tanzania
  5. Rwanda
  6. Yemen
  7. Malawi
  8. Syria
  9. Botswana
  10. Haiti

World Happiness Report in 2020 

Here’s a full list of the world’s happiest countries from top to bottom, ranked by total happiness score. Finland remains at the top as the happiest country worldwide. 

Rank Country Happiness Score
1 Finland 7809
2 Denmark 7646
3 Switzerland 7560
4 Iceland 7504
5 Norway 7488
6 Netherlands 7449
7 Sweden 7353
8 New Zealand 7300
9 Austria 7294
10 Luxembourg 7238
11 Canada 7232
12 Australia 7223
13 United Kingdom 7165
14 Israel 7129
15 Costa Rica 7121
16 Irland 7094
17 Tyskland 7076
18 United States 6940
19 Czech Republic 6911
20 Belgium 6864
21 United Arab Emirates 6791
22 Malta 6773
23 France 6664
24 Mexico 6465
25 Taiwan 6455
26 Uruguay 6440
27 Saudi Arabia 6406
28 Spain 6401
29 Guatemala 6399
30 Italy 6387
31 Singapore 6377
32 Brazil 6376
33 Slovenia 6363
34 El Salvador 6348
35 Kosovo 6325
36 Panama 6305
37 Slovakia 6281
38 Uzbekistan 6258
39 Chile 6228
40 Bahrain 6227
41 Lithuania 6215
42 Trinidad and Tobago 6192
43 Poland 6186
44 Colombia 6163
45 Cyprus 6159
46 Nicaragua 6137
47 Romania 6124
48 Kuwait 6102
49 Mauritius 6101
50 Kazakhstan 6058
51 Estonia 6022
52 Philippines 6006
53 Hungary 6000
54 Thailand 5999
55 Argentina 5975
56 Honduras 5953
57 Latvia 5950
58 Ecuador 5925
59 Portugal 5911
60 Jamaica 5890
61 South Korea 5872
62 Japan 5871
63 Peru 5797
64 Serbia 5778
65 Bolivia 5747
66 Pakistan 5693
67 Paraguay 5692
68 Dominican Republic 5689
69 Bosnia and Herzegovina 5674
70 Moldova 5608
71 Tajikistan 5556
72 Montenegro 5546
73 Russia 5546
74 Kyrgyzstan 5542
75 Belarus 5540
76 Northern Cyprus 5536
77 Greece 5515
78 Hong Kong 5510
79 Croatia 5505
80 Libya 5489
81 Mongolia 5456
82 Malaysia 5384
83 Vietnam 5353
84 Indonesia 5286
85 Ivory Coast 5233
86 Benin 5216
87 Maldives 5198
88 Congo 5194
89 Azerbaijan 5165
90 Northern Macedonia 5160
91 Ghana 5148
92 Nepal 5137
93 Turkey 5132
94 China 5124
95 Turkmenistan 5119
96 Bulgaria 5102
97 Morocco 5095
98 Cameroon 5085
99 Venezuela 5053
100 Algeria 5005
101 Senegal 4981
102 Guinea 4949
103 Niger 4910
104 Laos 4889
105 Albania 4883
106 Cambodia 4848
107 Bangladesh 4833
108 Gabon 4829
109 South Africa 4814
110 Iraq 4785
111 Lebanon 4772
112 Burkina Faso 4769
113 Gambia 4751
114 Mali 4729
115 Nigeria 4724
116 Armenia 4677
117 Georgia 4673
118 Iran 4672
119 Jordan 4633
120 Mozambique 4624
121 Kenya 4583
122 Namibia 4571
123 Ukraine 4561
124 Liberia 4558
125 Palestinia 4553
126 Uganda 4432
127 Chad 4423
128 Tunisia 4392
129 Mauritania 4375
130 Sri Lanka 4327
131 Congo 4311
132 Swaziland 4308
133 Myanmar 4308
134 Comoros 4289
135 Togo 4187
136 Ethiopia 4186
137 Madagascar 4166
138 Egypt 4151
139 Sierra Leone 3926
140 Burundi 3775
141 Zambia 3759
142 Haiti 3721
143 Lesotho 3653
144 India 3573
145 Malawi 3538
146 Yemen 3527
147 Botswana 3479
148 Tanzania 3476
149 Central African Republic 3476
150 Rwanda 3312
151 Zimbabwe 3299
152 South Sudan 2817
153 Afghanistan 2567

World Happiness Report 2019

Here’s the full list of the happiest countries in the world 2019, ranked by United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. 

Overall rank Country or region Score
1 Finland 7.769
2 Denmark 7.600
3 Norway 7.554
4 Iceland 7.494
5 Netherlands 7.488
6 Switzerland 7.480
7 Sweden 7.343
8 New Zealand 7.307
9 Canada 7.278
10 Austria 7.246
11 Australia 7.228
12 Costa Rica 7.167
13 Israel 7.139
14 Luxembourg 7.090
15 United Kingdom 7.054
16 Ireland 7.021
17 Germany 6.985
18 Belgium 6.923
19 United States 6.892
20 Czech Republic 6.852
21 United Arab Emirates 6.825
22 Malta 6.726
23 Mexico 6.595
24 France 6.592
25 Taiwan 6.446
26 Chile 6.444
27 Guatemala 6.436
28 Saudi Arabia 6.375
29 Qatar 6.374
30 Spain 6.354
31 Panama 6.321
32 Brazil 6.300
33 Uruguay 6.293
34 Singapore 6.262
35 El Salvador 6.253
36 Italy 6.223
37 Bahrain 6.199
38 Slovakia 6.198
39 Trinidad & Tobago 6.192
40 Poland 6.182
41 Uzbekistan 6.174
42 Lithuania 6.149
43 Colombia 6.125
44 Slovenia 6.118
45 Nicaragua 6.105
46 Kosovo 6.100
47 Argentina 6.086
48 Romania 6.070
49 Cyprus 6.046
50 Ecuador 6.028
51 Kuwait 6.021
52 Thailand 6.008
53 Latvia 5.940
54 South Korea 5.895
55 Estonia 5.893
56 Jamaica 5.890
57 Mauritius 5.888
58 Japan 5.886
59 Honduras 5.860
60 Kazakhstan 5.809
61 Bolivia 5.779
62 Hungary 5.758
63 Paraguay 5.743
64 Northern Cyprus 5.718
65 Peru 5.697
66 Portugal 5.693
67 Pakistan 5.653
68 Russia 5.648
69 Philippines 5.631
70 Serbia 5.603
71 Moldova 5.529
72 Libya 5.525
73 Montenegro 5.523
74 Tajikistan 5.467
75 Croatia 5.432
76 Hong Kong 5.430
77 Dominican Republic 5.425
78 Bosnia and Herzegovina 5.386
79 Turkey 5.373
80 Malaysia 5.339
81 Belarus 5.323
82 Greece 5.287
83 Mongolia 5.285
84 North Macedonia 5.274
85 Nigeria 5.265
86 Kyrgyzstan 5.261
87 Turkmenistan 5.247
88 Algeria 5.211
89 Morocco 5.208
90 Azerbaijan 5.208
91 Lebanon 5.197
92 Indonesia 5.192
93 China 5.191
94 Vietnam 5.175
95 Bhutan 5.082
96 Cameroon 5.044
97 Bulgaria 5.011
98 Ghana 4.996
99 Ivory Coast 4.944
100 Nepal 4.913
101 Jordan 4.906
102 Benin 4.883
103 Congo (Brazzaville) 4.812
104 Gabon 4.799
105 Laos 4.796
106 South Africa 4.722
107 Albania 4.719
108 Venezuela 4.707
109 Cambodia 4.700
110 Palestinian Territories 4.696
111 Senegal 4.681
112 Somalia 4.668
113 Namibia 4.639
114 Niger 4.628
115 Burkina Faso 4.587
116 Armenia 4.559
117 Iran 4.548
118 Guinea 4.534
119 Georgia 4.519
120 Gambia 4.516
121 Kenya 4.509
122 Mauritania 4.490
123 Mozambique 4.466
124 Tunisia 4.461
125 Bangladesh 4.456
126 Iraq 4.437
127 Congo (Kinshasa) 4.418
128 Mali 4.390
129 Sierra Leone 4.374
130 Sri Lanka 4.366
131 Myanmar 4.360
132 Chad 4.350
133 Ukraine 4.332
134 Ethiopia 4.286
135 Swaziland 4.212
136 Uganda 4.189
137 Egypt 4.166
138 Zambia 4.107
139 Togo 4.085
140 India 4.015
141 Liberia 3.975
142 Comoros 3.973
143 Madagascar 3.933
144 Lesotho 3.802
145 Burundi 3.775
146 Zimbabwe 3.663
147 Haiti 3.597
148 Botswana 3.488
149 Syria 3.462
150 Malawi 3.410
151 Yemen 3.380
152 Rwanda 3.334
153 Tanzania 3.231
154 Afghanistan 3.203
155 Central African Republic 3.083
156 South Sudan 2.853

Which was the happiest country in the world 2019?

Finland was awarded the status of being the happiest country in the world in 2019. Finland was also ranked number one in the happiness report 2018. 


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