Population and Social Characteristics

The Happiest Country in the World

usdagov / Flickr / Public Domain

Once a year, research firm Gallup issues its Gallup World Poll for the World Happiness Report. This year is the 15th in which it has been published. Finland was the happiest country it found, and Scandinavian nations dominated the top of the list. The firm rated nations on a scale of 1 to 10.

The foundation of the methodology used to create the rankings is the Gallup World Poll. The firm polled about 1,000 respondents in each country. Weighting creates “population-representative national averages for each year in each country.” The rankings are based on an average of the past three years of the Gallup data (2021 to 2023).

The ratings stay mostly the same over time. “The top 10 have remained fairly stable, with Finland still in first position, although now followed more closely by Denmark,” the authors wrote. Finland received a score of 7.741.

Once again, the Scandinavian nations dominate the top of the list. Denmark ranks second at 7.583. Then comes Iceland at 7.525, Sweden at 7.344, the Netherlands at 7.319, and Norway at 7.302. Israel breaks the pattern with a score of 7.341.

The United States ranks poorly at 23, with a score of 6.725. According to The Wall Street Journal’s summary of the report, “In the U.S., self-reported happiness has decreased in all age groups, but especially for young adults. Americans 30 years and younger ranked 62nd globally in terms of well-being, trailing the Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Guatemala. Older Americans ranked 10th.” The report breaks out four age groups: under 30, 30-44, 45-59, and 60+. (See where 14 American cities rank among the 50 best cities in the world to move to.)

The last nation on the list was Afghanistan, which ranked 143rd with a score of 1.456.


Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.