World’s Happiest Ranking Goes to Finland for Fifth Year in a Row

  • Most countries show slight long-term drop in enjoyment of life
  • World Happiness Report published annually by UN-linked body
People enjoy sunny weather on the waterfront in Helsinki. 
People enjoy sunny weather on the waterfront in Helsinki.

Photographer: Jussi Nukari/Lehtikuva/Getty Images

Finland was crowned the happiest country in the world for the fifth consecutive year, with a score significantly ahead of its peers in the World Happiness Report 2022 ranking.

Denmark kept its second place, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network said on Friday. Iceland bypassed Switzerland to take third place and the Netherlands rounded out the top five. The U.S. ranked 16th, up three places from 2021.

Global Happiness

Nordic countries, the Swiss, the Dutch and Luxembourg take the top spots

Source: World Happiness Report 2022

Note: Map shows points in an index. Ranking uses data from 2019-2021. All locations are not surveyed every year.

Over the ten years the report has been published, the biggest gains in happiness have taken place in Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania, and biggest declines posted in Lebanon, Venezuela and Afghanistan. The authors detected, on average, a long-term moderate upward trend in stress, worry, and sadness in most countries, as well as “a slight long-term decline in the enjoyment of life,” they wrote.

The report uses global survey data to report on how people evaluate their own lives in more than 150 countries around the world, with the ranking based on a three-year average. Key variables that contribute to explaining people’s life evaluations include gross domestic product per capita, healthy life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom to make life choices and perceptions of corruption.

— With assistance by Jeremy Diamond