Let the 'Happiest Countries in the World' list become your ultimate vacation guide

Let the 'Happiest Countries in the World' list become your ultimate vacation guide

Released annually on UN International Happiness Day, this list could help you plan you next getaway - because everyone wants to be happy, right?
21 March 24

The World Happiness Report indicates the happiest (and least happy) countries around the world. And rather aptly, the World Happiness Report is published each year on UN's International Happiness Day, March 20.

How was the Happiness List determined?

The Gallup World poll asked 1,000 people in almost every country to rate their happiness.

The happiness rankings are based on a three-year average, in this case the 2024 report takes into account the period between 2021-2023. The findings acknowledge several social and economic factors experienced by residents and citizen, and this information carried forward from one year to the next, as this thee year period has been determined a significant proportion of time where perceptions may shift, or quality of life may change.

A fairly comprehensive assessment, the research behind the reporting considers six crucial factors that influence happiness: social support, income, health, freedom, generosity, and the absence of corruption.

Moreover, it delves into the distribution of happiness within countries, with higher scores typically awarded to nations where the "happiness gap" is narrower across the population, and across the age ranges, signifying a more equitable experience across the aforementioned factors by the population.

Why is it important?

Since its first release in 2012, this report has become an international indicator of a country's development and growth both in social and economic terms. And as countries strive to improve their rankings and citizens seek greater fulfilment, these lists serve as a valuable benchmark for progress and societal well-being.

But, the list also might inspire your next vacation.

Top 3 Happiest Countries in the World

Rather unsurprisingly the Nordic countries Finland and Denmark sit in first and second place, respectively. And Iceland sits in third position. (Sweden follows close behind in fourth place.)

Finland has been declared as the world's happiest country for the seventh year in a row, whilst Denmark and Iceland sit in pole positions again securing second and third place.

Where does Saudi Arabia sit on this list?

Out of 143 countries surveyed, Saudi Arabia sits 28th on the list.

The Kingdom is the third happiest nation in the Gulf.

Since last year's survey, the Kingdom has risen two places to sit 28th on the list, versus sitting in 30th position last year. Continuing to climb the rankings year on year, the Kingdom has beat out other nations such as Singapore (30th), Spain (36th), Italy (41st), Japan (51st) and Bahrain (62nd) to sit comfortably within the top thirty happiest countries.

Top 35 Happiest Countries in the World

  1. Finland
  2. Denmark
  3. Iceland
  4. Sweden
  5. Israel
  6. Netherlands
  7. Norway
  8. Luxembourg
  9. Switzerland
  10. Australia
  11. New Zealand
  12. Costa Rica
  13. Kuwait
  14. Austria
  15. Canada
  16. Belgium
  17. Ireland
  18. Czechia
  19. Lithuania
  20. United Kingdom
  21. Slovenia
  22. United Arab Emirates
  23. USA
  24. Germany
  25. Mexico
  26. Uruguay
  27. France
  28. Saudi Arabia
  29. Kosovo
  30. Singapore
  31. Taiwan
  32. Romania
  33. El Salvador
  34. Estonia
  35. Poland

3 Unhappiest Countries on the List

According to this year's report, Afghanistan is the unhappiest country in the world sitting in bottom position at 143rd on the Happiness Report. The country is closely followed by Lesotho at 142nd and Lebanon at 143rd.

Read the full report and its findings here