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Australia amongst top 10 happiest country's in the world

10 Happiest Countries in the World Revealed, Australia Included

The World Happiness Report has revealed the happiest countries in the world using user-rated life evaluation data collected from 2021-2023. This data is sourced in partnership with Gallup, the Oxford Wellbeing Research Centre, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and an editorial board and is used to determine a list of 143 countries which is then ranked on a 10-point scale.

Finland claimed the top spot (7.741 points) and is the happiest country in the world. However, it’s those countries that didn’t make the top 20 that should be concerned.

The United States failed to make the cut this year and dropped to 23rd for the first time since the World Happiness Reports were published. According to the data, the well-being of younger Americans is the main cause as they ranked 62nd amongst The Young (under 30) and 42nd amongst Lower Middle (30-44).

On the other hand, Australians should be celebrating as we cracked the top 10 and beat out our mates across the ditch in New Zealand who fell just outside at number 11 on the list. We also had an even spread across age groups, ranking 10th, 19th, 14th, 10th, and 9th across the categories.

10 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

RELATED: These are the richest women in the world for 2024.

United states fell outside the top 20 for happiest countries in the world
United States fell outside the top 20 for happiest countries in the world | Image: Unsplash

To explain how this system works, the data is averaged across three years and considers significant events that can change the rankings amongst populations. For example, as stated by the report, “In the case of the October 7th attack on Israel and the subsequent war between Israel and Hamas, the survey in Palestine took place earlier in the year and the Israel survey after the hostage-taking but before much of the subsequent warfare. Life evaluations fell sharply in Israel, by 0.9 on the 10-point scale, only one-third of which will enter the three-year averages discussed.”

Then single-item Cantril ladder life-evaluation question data is handed to experts in economics, psychology, sociology, etc. who explain the variations across countries and over time using factors such as GDP, life expectancy, having someone to count on, a sense of freedom, generosity and perceptions of corruption.

Young people accounting for a drop in happiness
The well-being of younger Americans is the main cause as they ranked 62nd amongst The Young (under 30) and 42nd amongst Lower Middle (30-44) | Image: Unsplash

This year is also the first time that we have data broken down into age groups: The Young (under 30), Lower Middle (30-44), Upper Middle (45-59), and The Old (60+). Interestingly, the results can skew dramatically based on the country and the overall rank doesn’t tell the full story when you look at age groups.

For example, Lithuania has the happiest young people and ranks 1st, but only scrapes into the top 20 for the ‘Upper Middle’ and is way back in 44th place in ‘The Old’ category. The same goes for Finland which ranks 1st overall, however, their young people are making their voices heard and have ranked them 7th.

In Australia, there’s a fairly even spread across age groups ranking 10th, 19th, 14th, 10th, and 9th respectively.

“We found some pretty striking results,” said Prof John F. Helliwell, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the Vancouver School of Economics, University of British Columbia, and a founding Editor of the World Happiness Report.

“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.”

Kabul in afghanistan
Kabul, Afghanistan | Image: Unsplash

Of course, to have a top 10 there needs to be a bottom 10 or ‘saddest countries in the world’ and this year that country is Afghanistan which ranks at the bottom in 143rd.

10 Saddest Countries in the World for 2024:

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Lebanon
  3. Lesotho
  4. Sierra Leone
  5. Congo (Kinshasa)
  6. Zimbabwe
  7. Botswana
  8. Malawi
  9. Eswatini
  10. Zambia

Nonetheless, Jon Clifton, CEO of Gallup believes this data can help form effective policy-making and directly benefit those age groups and countries who need it most. “Today’s World Happiness Report attempts to bridge some of these gaps by offering insights into people’s perceptions of life on Earth. It offers more than just national rankings; it provides analytics and advice for evidence-based planning and policymaking. Our role in research on World Happiness is a natural fit with our longstanding mission: providing leaders with the right information about what people say makes life worthwhile.”

You can read the full World Happiness Report at the company’s website below.