The 2024 World Happiness Report, which ranks countries based on self-reported happiness levels, has been released. Its publication was timed to coincide with the U.N.’s International Day of Happiness, celebrated annually on March 20. And — drum roll, please — Finland was named the world’s happiest country for the seventh consecutive year.

To arrive at their findings, scientists examined survey responses from people in 143 nations who participated in the Gallup World Poll over the previous three years. Residents were asked to rate their life satisfaction on a scale of zero through 10, with their answers determining the country rankings. Experts then analyzed factors like life expectancy, generosity, GDP, and a sense of freedom to account for variations across countries.

For the first time this year, the report also focused on how well-being differs across age groups.

Separate lists were created based on those findings, and, in many cases, they varied widely from the overall rankings. For example, Lithuania came in No. 1 for happiness in people under 30, but ranked 19th overall. Analysts were able to go through data as far back as 2006 to determine changes in those trends.


“We found some pretty striking results,” John F. Helliwell, a founding editor of the World Happiness Report, said in a press release. “There is a great variety among countries in the relative happiness of the younger, older, and in-between populations. Hence the global happiness rankings are quite different for the young and the old, to an extent that has changed a lot over the last dozen years.”


Scroll down to see the top 10 happiest countries in ascending order, and click here to dig into the full report.

10. Australia


Australia edged out its neighbor New Zealand to make it on the top 10 this year. Additionally, the popular travel destination ranked ninth place for happiness in people ages 60 and above. Fun fact: Though it’s famed for its rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef, Australia is actually the driest inhabited continent on Earth.

9. Switzerland


Peaceful, mountainous, and about twice the size of New Jersey, Switzerland is home to more than just the Alps. It’s known for its numerous lakes, trails, and sweeping plains. And though it comes in at No. 9 in this year’s happiness ranking, U.S. News & World Report named it the best country in the world in 2023: Learn why.


8. Luxembourg


Luxembourg moved up a spot from last year, coming in at No. 8 in the 2024 report. Located in the heart of Europe, the nation is rich in history and culture, boasting both modern architecture and the remnants of medieval fortresses.

7. Norway


Holding strong at No. 7 in the ranking compared to 2023’s report, Norway also came in No. 3 for happiest country for people over 60, and No. 6 for people in lower and upper middle age groups. For people under 30, it ranked at No. 20 — also not too shabby.


6. Netherlands


Famous for its tulip festivals, windmills, and, of course, traditional wooden clogs, the Netherlands — commonly referred to as Holland — is consistently ranked as one of the happiest countries. One resident and writer attributes that in part to a Dutch concept called niksen, which essentially translates to “doing nothing.” Read about it here.


5. Israel


With its generally temperate climate and stunning beaches, Israel offers plenty of natural beauty. The authors of this year’s report note, however, that because results were derived from the average of participants’ responses over the preceding three years, the current unrest taking place in the country isn’t fully reflected

4. Sweden


Sweden came in fourth on the overall ranking, and also scored high in happiness for upper middle age and older people, coming it at 3rd and 4th place, respectively. The Nordic nation is known for the many innovations its residents have contributed to the world, but here are 25 you may not have realized came from the country.

3. Iceland


In third place is Iceland, home to a “staggeringly creative” population, per the marketplace Artsy — in fact, it’s said that 1 in 10 residents have published a book. And with only around 385,000 residents, the country boasts around 7,000 creative companies, offering up some additional proof that creativity is tied to well-being.



2. Denmark


Denmark took second place this year, and has consistently placed in the top 10 since the first report was released in 2012. In the 2024 iteration, Denmark was also found to be the No. 1 happiest country for people over 60 — so if you’re considering retiring in Europe, it may be the place for you.

1. Finland


Congratulations yet again to Finland! As mentioned earlier, the country topped the list for the 7th year in a row. It’s also No.1 for lower and upper middle-aged people, and No. 2 for those over 60. Even better news? It’s sharing its good vibes with anyone who’s interested: Last year, Finland hosted a four-day masterclass in happiness, and the program has since expanded into a free online course. Check it out to “find your inner Finn.”