Measuring subjective concepts like happiness and life satisfaction can be challenging. Factors such as wealth, safety, health outcomes, and political stability can all impact one’s sense of well-being. However, the pursuit of ranking happiness is worth pursuing as it can provide valuable insights for policymakers to improve the quality of life for citizens.
The map below provides a global snapshot of life satisfaction levels across countries, utilizing the World Happiness Report’s annual survey. The report measures self-reported levels of life satisfaction and incorporates various quality of life factors to create an index of happiness levels worldwide.
Although there is no perfect measure of happiness, the report is a comprehensive and transparent effort to understand global happiness levels. For more detailed information on the report’s methodology, please refer to the info box at the end of this article.
For the sixth year in a row, Finland is the world’s happiest country, according to World Happiness Report rankings based largely on life evaluations from the Gallup World Poll.
The Nordic country and its neighbors Denmark, Iceland, Sweden and Norway all score very well on the measures the report uses to explain its findings: healthy life expectancy, GDP per capita, social support, low corruption, generosity in a community where people look after each other and freedom to make key life decisions.
The collective average for East Asia and Oceania is 5.6. However, Oceania stands out with the highest regional score in the world, at 7.1. Contrary to popular belief in the West, China has experienced a noteworthy increase (+0.6) in its happiness score in recent years. Across the strait, Taiwan records the second-highest score in East Asia after Singapore. On the other hand, India once again has the lowest happiness score in its region, with a decrease of -0.7 over the past decade.
Vietnam took the 65th spot in the rankings, falling just below neighboring China with a score of 5.76 out of 10. While this marks a significant improvement from its previous ranking of 77th in 2022, there is still much room for progress. The country currently faces challenges such as a struggling property market, increasing bad debts, a high unemployment rate, and pervasive corruption – all of which hinder happiness and well-being. Addressing these issues is crucial for Vietnam to continue its upward trajectory towards a more contented and fulfilled society.
Without further ado, here are the world’s happiest countries in 2023:
- New Zealand
It’s worth noting that the top-ranking countries consistently prioritize social welfare policies, such as universal healthcare and education, strong social safety nets, and low levels of income inequality. These factors, coupled with political stability and economic prosperity, contribute to the overall happiness of citizens.
While the report offers a glimpse into happiness levels worldwide, it’s important to recognize that happiness is a complex and multi-faceted concept that cannot be captured in a single metric. Nonetheless, policymakers and individuals alike can use these insights to prioritize the well-being of citizens and work towards creating happier societies.