This Is the Happiest Country in the World for 2023

A Nordic nation ranks at the top for the sixth consecutive year.

Houses on a lake in Porvoo, Finland

Jani Riekkinen/Getty Images

For the past 11 years, the World Happiness Report has analyzed people's quality of life self-assessments across the globe to determine worldwide happiness. And one country has topped the ranking more than half the time, including this year.

Yes, that's right — congratulations are in order for Finland (again), which has been crowned the happiest country in the world. For the record sixth time, the Nordic nation lands on top, with an overall score of 7.804 out of 10. (And Finland isn't gatekeeping its secret: It launched an in-person master class on happiness in the Finnish Lakeland region for 10 lucky guests, with online classes available in the summer.)

Coming in second and third are Denmark (7.586) and Iceland (7.530), respectively, mirroring last year's positions. Other than a few changes in ranking, the top 10 happiest countries in 2023 remain the same. Switzerland, for example, falls four spots to number eight, and Luxembourg is now ninth, as opposed to sixth last year. The biggest winner here is Israel, which went from number nine in 2022 to number four.

A man sitting on a bench watching the northern lights in Finland

Michael Hausmann/Getty Images

The United States occupies the 15th spot, doing slightly better than last year when it was 16th. At the bottom of the ranking are Sierra Leone, Lebanon, and Afghanistan.

Despite the war in Ukraine and the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the report points out that people around the world remain resilient, "with global averages in the COVID-19 years 2020-2022 just as high as those in the pre-pandemic years 2017-2019." Another positive finding is the number and frequency of "benevolent acts," which increased 25 percent last year in comparison to before the pandemic.

"For a second year, we see that various forms of everyday kindness, such as helping a stranger, donating to charity, and volunteering, are above pre-pandemic levels. Acts of kindness have been shown to both lead to and stem from greater happiness," professor Lara B. Aknin, director of the Helping and Happiness Lab of Simon Fraser University and a social psychologist, said in a press release shared with Travel + Leisure.

The report concludes that a nation will "only experience high levels of overall life satisfaction if its people are also pro-social, healthy, and prosperous."

Every year, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, in collaboration with Gallup World Poll, collects about 1,000 survey responses from people in each country. The annual World Happiness Report rankings are based on a three-year average of these self-assessments.

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