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Nordic countries top happiest places on Earth, while US drops on list

Finland once again topped the list of happiest countries, while the U.S. had a significant drop.
Nordic countries top happiest places on Earth, while US drops on list
Posted at 10:03 AM, Mar 20, 2024

Finland has once again been dubbed the happiest country on Earth. 

It’s no surprise that Santa Claus’ home country has been named the happiest by the annual World Happiness Report for seven years in a row. Nordic countries filled out the top of the list, with Denmark, Iceland and Sweden following Finland. 

Tanja Koivisto, with Finland's tourism board, says it's not that Finland is free from these problems, but their priorities are different.

"I think, the main thing is, people are content with their life because in Finland you have a really nice balance of your work life and your leisure life," she said. "School is free, the health care system is free. The social security is very good."

Israel rounded out the top five, but the report noted most of the surveying took place before the bulk of the Israel-Hamas war. 

The top 10 have remained fairly stable in comparison to previous years. Netherlands, Norway, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Australia complete the top of the rankings. 

The United States dropped down to number 23 from 15 the previous year. It’s the first year it fell out of the top 20 since the list debuted in 2012. Canada also dropped on the happiness list, from 13 last year to 15 this year.

The report said the reason for the North American countries placing lower has everything to do with the younger generations and the negativity they are consuming on social media. If only citizens under 30 were polled, the U.S. would’ve ranked at 62.

Two new countries have broken through the top 20 of the list this year: Costa Rica at 12 and Kuwait at 13. 

The World Happiness Report is a partnership of the Gallup World Poll, the Oxford Wellbeing Research Centre and other organizations that draws on global survey data from a three-year period. It uses multiple factors to aggregate the data including GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and freedom from corruption.

This year was the first time the report looked at how those rankings differed among age groups. 

SEE MORE: These are the happiest cities in the US

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