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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. 

RankCountryHappiness Score
1Finland7809
2Denmark7646
3Switzerland7560
4Iceland7504
5Norway7488
6Netherlands7449
7Sweden7353
8New Zealand7300
9Austria7294
10Luxembourg7238
11Canada7232
12Australia7223
13United Kingdom7165
14Israel7129
15Costa Rica7121
16Irland7094
17Tyskland7076
18United States6940
19Czech Republic6911
20Belgium6864
21United Arab Emirates6791
22Malta6773
23France6664
24Mexico6465
25Taiwan6455
26Uruguay6440
27Saudi Arabia6406
28Spain6401
29Guatemala6399
30Italy6387
31Singapore6377
32Brazil6376
33Slovenia6363
34El Salvador6348
35Kosovo6325
36Panama6305
37Slovakia6281
38Uzbekistan6258
39Chile6228
40Bahrain6227
41Lithuania6215
42Trinidad and Tobago6192
43Poland6186
44Colombia6163
45Cyprus6159
46Nicaragua6137
47Romania6124
48Kuwait6102
49Mauritius6101
50Kazakhstan6058
51Estonia6022
52Philippines6006
53Hungary6000
54Thailand5999
55Argentina5975
56Honduras5953
57Latvia5950
58Ecuador5925
59Portugal5911
60Jamaica5890
61South Korea5872
62Japan5871
63Peru5797
64Serbia5778
65Bolivia5747
66Pakistan5693
67Paraguay5692
68Dominican Republic5689
69Bosnia and Herzegovina5674
70Moldova5608
71Tajikistan5556
72Montenegro5546
73Russia5546
74Kyrgyzstan5542
75Belarus5540
76Northern Cyprus5536
77Greece5515
78Hong Kong5510
79Croatia5505
80Libya5489
81Mongolia5456
82Malaysia5384
83Vietnam5353
84Indonesia5286
85Ivory Coast5233
86Benin5216
87Maldives5198
88Congo5194
89Azerbaijan5165
90Northern Macedonia5160
91Ghana5148
92Nepal5137
93Turkey5132
94China5124
95Turkmenistan5119
96Bulgaria5102
97Morocco5095
98Cameroon5085
99Venezuela5053
100Algeria5005
101Senegal4981
102Guinea4949
103Niger4910
104Laos4889
105Albania4883
106Cambodia4848
107Bangladesh4833
108Gabon4829
109South Africa4814
110Iraq4785
111Lebanon4772
112Burkina Faso4769
113Gambia4751
114Mali4729
115Nigeria4724
116Armenia4677
117Georgia4673
118Iran4672
119Jordan4633
120Mozambique4624
121Kenya4583
122Namibia4571
123Ukraine4561
124Liberia4558
125Palestinia4553
126Uganda4432
127Chad4423
128Tunisia4392
129Mauritania4375
130Sri Lanka4327
131Congo4311
132Swaziland4308
133Myanmar4308
134Comoros4289
135Togo4187
136Ethiopia4186
137Madagascar4166
138Egypt4151
139Sierra Leone3926
140Burundi3775
141Zambia3759
142Haiti3721
143Lesotho3653
144India3573
145Malawi3538
146Yemen3527
147Botswana3479
148Tanzania3476
149Central African Republic3476
150Rwanda3312
151Zimbabwe3299
152South Sudan2817
153Afghanistan2567

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 rankCountry or regionScore
1Finland7.769
2Denmark7.600
3Norway7.554
4Iceland7.494
5Netherlands7.488
6Switzerland7.480
7Sweden7.343
8New Zealand7.307
9Canada7.278
10Austria7.246
11Australia7.228
12Costa Rica7.167
13Israel7.139
14Luxembourg7.090
15United Kingdom7.054
16Ireland7.021
17Germany6.985
18Belgium6.923
19United States6.892
20Czech Republic6.852
21United Arab Emirates6.825
22Malta6.726
23Mexico6.595
24France6.592
25Taiwan6.446
26Chile6.444
27Guatemala6.436
28Saudi Arabia6.375
29Qatar6.374
30Spain6.354
31Panama6.321
32Brazil6.300
33Uruguay6.293
34Singapore6.262
35El Salvador6.253
36Italy6.223
37Bahrain6.199
38Slovakia6.198
39Trinidad & Tobago6.192
40Poland6.182
41Uzbekistan6.174
42Lithuania6.149
43Colombia6.125
44Slovenia6.118
45Nicaragua6.105
46Kosovo6.100
47Argentina6.086
48Romania6.070
49Cyprus6.046
50Ecuador6.028
51Kuwait6.021
52Thailand6.008
53Latvia5.940
54South Korea5.895
55Estonia5.893
56Jamaica5.890
57Mauritius5.888
58Japan5.886
59Honduras5.860
60Kazakhstan5.809
61Bolivia5.779
62Hungary5.758
63Paraguay5.743
64Northern Cyprus5.718
65Peru5.697
66Portugal5.693
67Pakistan5.653
68Russia5.648
69Philippines5.631
70Serbia5.603
71Moldova5.529
72Libya5.525
73Montenegro5.523
74Tajikistan5.467
75Croatia5.432
76Hong Kong5.430
77Dominican Republic5.425
78Bosnia and Herzegovina5.386
79Turkey5.373
80Malaysia5.339
81Belarus5.323
82Greece5.287
83Mongolia5.285
84North Macedonia5.274
85Nigeria5.265
86Kyrgyzstan5.261
87Turkmenistan5.247
88Algeria5.211
89Morocco5.208
90Azerbaijan5.208
91Lebanon5.197
92Indonesia5.192
93China5.191
94Vietnam5.175
95Bhutan5.082
96Cameroon5.044
97Bulgaria5.011
98Ghana4.996
99Ivory Coast4.944
100Nepal4.913
101Jordan4.906
102Benin4.883
103Congo (Brazzaville)4.812
104Gabon4.799
105Laos4.796
106South Africa4.722
107Albania4.719
108Venezuela4.707
109Cambodia4.700
110Palestinian Territories4.696
111Senegal4.681
112Somalia4.668
113Namibia4.639
114Niger4.628
115Burkina Faso4.587
116Armenia4.559
117Iran4.548
118Guinea4.534
119Georgia4.519
120Gambia4.516
121Kenya4.509
122Mauritania4.490
123Mozambique4.466
124Tunisia4.461
125Bangladesh4.456
126Iraq4.437
127Congo (Kinshasa)4.418
128Mali4.390
129Sierra Leone4.374
130Sri Lanka4.366
131Myanmar4.360
132Chad4.350
133Ukraine4.332
134Ethiopia4.286
135Swaziland4.212
136Uganda4.189
137Egypt4.166
138Zambia4.107
139Togo4.085
140India4.015
141Liberia3.975
142Comoros3.973
143Madagascar3.933
144Lesotho3.802
145Burundi3.775
146Zimbabwe3.663
147Haiti3.597
148Botswana3.488
149Syria3.462
150Malawi3.410
151Yemen3.380
152Rwanda3.334
153Tanzania3.231
154Afghanistan3.203
155Central African Republic3.083
156South Sudan2.853

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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