The World's Happiest Countries

This content was last updated on 29.01.2024 21:45

The happiest countries in the world have been revealed

In the published 2023 Happiness Report, the happiest and unhappiest countries in the world were announced. 

The statistics of the 2023 World Happiness Report, published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a think tank based at Columbia University, have been released.

Happiness rates are typically calculated using factors such as average life expectancy, social support, freedom, perception of corruption, and GDP per capita to understand how happy people feel in different countries, determine factors contributing to happiness, monitor trends, and formulate appropriate policies.

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The Top 10 Happiest Countries

1. Finland


When we learn about a country from our teachers at school or from the internet, we usually get a rough idea about its population, area, neighboring countries, form of government, and other geographical features. However, there is much more to learn beyond these data; such as the culture, traditions, and habits of the people living in that country.

In Finland, there are saunas in homes, workplaces, and government buildings. Finns believe that sauna is very healthy and therefore they have made it a habit. There are more than 3 million saunas in the country, which is quite a significant number considering the population is approximately 5.5 million. For Finns, sauna is not just an activity but a ritual that has been a significant part of Finnish culture for thousands of years. In fact, before couples get married in Finland, and before women give birth, they go to the sauna to cleanse their souls. It is estimated that around 90% of Finns visit the sauna at least once a week.

Every expectant mother in Finland receives a 'maternity package' from the government. Finland's social security system provides a 'maternity package' to pregnant mothers. This package contains everything needed for a mother and her baby, including newborn clothes, bedding, diapers, cotton, parenting guide, baby care products, and even a product for the baby to sleep on during the first few months. This kit, which has been provided by the state for over 50 years, requires parents to undergo a health check-up before the 5th month of pregnancy to receive it. While most expectant mothers prefer to receive the kit, they can also choose to receive only the money instead if they wish.

Even if it rains or snows, you will never see a group of people gathered under a bus stop shelter. Instead, you will see them standing in a straight line, leaving about 3 meters between each other.

When they get on a bus, they prefer to stand rather than share the same seat with someone else. They tend to keep their distance from others. When they meet someone, they shake hands if it's a formal occasion, but a nod is sufficient for a normal encounter. In the country, even single benches are designed so that people don't face each other and remain apart.

Finland is the country with the highest per capita milk consumption in the world. They not only consume milk for breakfast or snacks but also drink milk with their lunch and dinner.

They even mix it with their meals sometimes. As you can see, they consume milk with fast food, and it's even included in their set menus.

Every summer in Finland, the "weirdest sports competitions" are held. The World Tire Throwing Championship is one of them. In addition to that, competitions such as sitting on a wasp nest, carrying handcuffs, throwing cell phones, and killing mosquitoes are also organized.

Many products that we use to make our lives easier today were invented by Finns. We're talking about inventions such as SMS, the first internet browser, Nokia phone, and dishwasher, which are really common and extremely important inventions for today's society.

In Finland, there is a high awareness of recycling to support the circular economy and protect the environment. In most households, and even in hotels, waste is separated before being thrown into the bin. Paper and cardboard, glass, plastic, mixed waste, hazardous waste, batteries, and electrical waste are all separated separately. This way, they can all be reused for new products.

Children are not graded with marks in primary schools. Finnish parents and teachers do not want their children and students to compete for the highest grades. Moreover, they believe that each child learns at a different pace from an early age, and giving grades eliminates these natural differences. Therefore, children under the 5th grade are not graded.

The education system in Finland is different from the traditional education system in many ways. Children do not wake up early, schools start at 9:00 a.m., they do not wear school uniforms, and students address their teachers by their first names. This relaxed atmosphere is meant to make children feel comfortable as if they were at home.

One-third of the country is covered with forests. It will take you only 5 or 10 minutes to walk to a forest from anywhere. You can pick fruits, mushrooms, and plants as you like.

Everyone in Finland has the right to use any land, regardless of who owns it. Similarly, even if the land belongs to someone else, you can camp there, park your car or boat.

Also, Finland is the best country to see the Northern Lights. Can you always see them? No, not unless you are in Finland. The Northern Lights are visible for about 200 nights a year in Finland, and if you are in Lapland, you can see them every night. All you need is a dark but clear sky and, of course, a little luck.

2. Denmark


The official name of the country is the Kingdom of Denmark, and its capital is Copenhagen. Known as the smallest Scandinavian country, Denmark shares borders with Sweden, Norway, and Germany. Denmark is divided into 5 administrative regions and 98 municipalities and is governed as a constitutional monarchy. Additionally, the country holds ownership of Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The currency of Denmark is the Danish krone, and the country boasts high living standards and a high level of per capita wealth. The official languages are Danish and German, and a large portion of the population is proficient in English as well.

With a land area of 43,094.12 square kilometers, Denmark had a population of 5,822,763 according to the 2019 census, with immigrants and settlers making up 11% of the population. The special-status German minority in the country is said to make up 0.3% of the population. Denmark, with a flag unchanged since 1219, possesses the oldest continuously used flag in the world. It also holds the title of being the fifth largest food producer globally with its butter, which is sold in 150 different countries. As one of the founding members of NATO, Denmark has been a member of the European Union since 1973.

3. Iceland


Iceland is one of the last places settled by humans on Earth. Over 1,100 years ago, Norwegian Vikings discovered Iceland by chance. Understanding why travelers want to see this country at the other end of the world is very easy, with its magnificent glaciers, roaring waterfalls, and epic natural light shows. There are many features that make this country so unique, but the ones listed below are the most interesting...

Iceland is the only place in the world where you can float between two tectonic plates. It's also the only place where you can touch both North America and Eurasia continents at the same time. One of the cleanest waters in the world can be found here. Silfra fissure was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 200.

There is no railway system in Iceland. The railway, used only to transport construction materials, is not used by the public due to the small population.

You can travel around Iceland in less than 24 hours. You can tour around Iceland by car within 24 hours.

When naming a baby, a name must be chosen from an approved list and approved by the naming committee. If a name outside the list is desired, permission must still be obtained from the committee.

Parents usually put babies to sleep in the cold. This is because it is believed that the immune system is strengthened.

There are no mosquitoes in Iceland. Since the cold weather is not suitable for mosquitoes to live, there are no mosquitoes.

There is no McDonald's in Iceland. McDonald's opened in 1993 but closed in 2009 due to high taxes and rising prices. However, the main reason is the boycott among the public. 'Hamborgarabulla' is a local burger chain that Icelanders love. As a result, McDonald's started to be boycotted.

The first democratically elected female president in the world is Vigdís Finnbogadóttir in Iceland in 1980.

Some Icelanders believe in the existence of elves and think that there is an Elf school in the Reykjavik area. This ratio is close to 54%.

All members of the same family may have different last names. In Iceland, when two people get married, they use their own last names. If the couple has a son, the father's or mother's last name is added with the suffix '-son', and if a daughter is born, the suffix '-dottir' is added, creating a new last name.

They developed an application to determine if they are related to the person they are with. Iceland has a population of around 360,000, with very few immigrants. Therefore, the 'Islendinga' application was made because the probability of being related is high.

Books are given as Christmas gifts. Iceland is among the countries that read the most books. Traditionally in Iceland, "Jolabokaflod or Christmas Book Flood" is celebrated on December 24th, where people give each other books as gifts and spend the night reading books.

The only native mammal in Iceland is the Arctic fox. There are approximately 8,000-10,000 Arctic foxes in Iceland. Arctic foxes are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

There are red hearts on the traffic lights in the city of Akureyri. The reason for this is that people were in depression during the economic crisis in 2008. To boost people's morale, the municipality designed traffic lights in the shape of a heart.

4. Israel


Although Israel's area on the map is small, it ranks well both in terms of its increasing internal development and its power among other countries in the world. The country, which adheres to strict rules from marriage to religious life, also offers a relaxed way of life.

However, it's a country full of peculiarities. From the absence of a constitution to women serving in the military, here are some surprising facts we've compiled for you. Let's take a look together!

One of the smallest countries in the world in terms of area.
The country has an area of ​​22,145 km². It is possible to walk from the easternmost to the westernmost part of the country within a day.

Over the years, it has acquired 80% of Palestinian territories.
Israel has thus incorporated a 28,000 km² area belonging to Palestine.

It is the world's only Jewish state.
Its establishment purpose was to gather all Jews worldwide. Jews constitute 75.8% of Israel's population, with 5.4 million people.

Among the countries with the highest population growth in recent years.
Considering that the first command in the Torah is to multiply and that marriage is considered for having children, the reason for this increase is understood. In fact, the state even provides free IVF treatment.

Another reason for the population increase is the Law of Return.
People of Jewish descent have the right to become Israeli citizens without any conditions. Everything from transportation tickets to accommodation is provided by the state.

The state provides comprehensive support to citizens who come with this return law.
Among these supports are financial aid to both married and single individuals, financial support if a job cannot be found within the first 6 months, free Hebrew courses, rent and car assistance, tax reductions, and free health services for the first year.

The Birthright Israel organization in the country conducts activities to attract young people.
It finances and organizes heritage trips for Jewish youth aged 18-32.

The state provides monthly financial support to every child in the family until they reach the age of 18.
Israel is one of the 37 developed countries in the world.
It is the only developed country in the Middle East except for Cyprus.

It is the world's 30th largest economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
They use the New Israeli Shekel as their currency. Outside of Israel, it is also used as a legal payment method among Palestinian traders in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

5. Netherlands


Netherlands is a highly enjoyable country that hosts numerous fun activities. Those who have visited the Netherlands once often wish to go back due to its architecture and people, maintaining its status as a warm country in Europe.

Bluetooth was invented by someone from the Netherlands
Bluetooth, which we use in almost all of our technological devices today, was invented by a Dutch person. This person we owe our thanks to is the Dutch engineer Dr. Jaap Haartsen.

The friendliest people are in the Netherlands
According to a survey conducted by Jetcost in 2019, the Dutch people are the friendliest in Europe. When wandering around the Netherlands, you can be sure to encounter friendly locals. They are quite famously warm and welcoming.

Part of the Netherlands is below sea level
While we can't exactly call the Netherlands an underwater city, it's possible to say that a significant part of the country is below sea level. According to reports, almost a third of the country is below sea level. In fact, it's known that the lowest point in the Netherlands is the Zuidplaspolder area, just northeast of Rotterdam, which is 6.7 meters below sea level.

The Dutch take pride in their arts
It's safe to say that the Netherlands has a rich cultural heritage. One of the Dutch people's favorite things about their history is their artistry. Some of their most famous artists include Hieronymus Bosch, Vincent van Gogh, Rachel Ruysch, and Leo Beukeboom, and the Dutch people take pride in this.

There are more bicycles than people in the Netherlands
Yes, you heard it right. There are more bicycles than people in the Netherlands. Due to the flat roads, a large majority of the country prefers to travel by bicycle from one place to another. In fact, according to reports, while the population of the Netherlands is 18 million, there are 22 million bicycles. That's what we've heard.

Amsterdam is built on wooden poles
The capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam, is built on a swamp. The buildings and houses in Amsterdam are supported by long wooden poles (at least 13 meters long) to keep the city above sea level. Today, there are approximately 11 million poles supporting Amsterdam.

Not a bus stop, but a beehive!
In the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands, 316 bus stops were equipped with beehives to enhance urban biodiversity. They function just like regular bus stops but are covered with plants and flowers. They also have LED lights for energy efficiency and bamboo benches for extra eco-friendly spots.

6. Sweden


Sweden, officially known as the Kingdom of Sweden, is a country located in the Scandinavian region of Northern Europe. The country's borders and neighbors include Norway to the west and north, and Finland to the east. Connected to Denmark via a bridge in the south, Sweden is a small Scandinavian country with a coastline and significant development. Spanning approximately 450,980 square kilometers, Sweden is the third-largest country among those belonging to the European Union. Here are some key points to know about Sweden:

Sweden, although not densely populated, has an uneven population distribution, with a significant population residing in the south. However, northern Sweden, with a much smaller population, is not as developed as the south due to its colder climate, which makes it less attractive to people.

In northern Sweden, temperatures remain low throughout the year, and suitable living conditions are scarce.

Approximately 85% of the population in Sweden resides in urban areas, with the remaining living in rural areas. Governed by a parliamentary system but ruled by a monarchy, Sweden ranks first in The Economist's Democracy Index. Considered one of the most important countries in the European Union, Sweden ranks seventh globally in terms of rapid and sustainable development. Sweden has been a member of the European Union since January 1, 1995.

Since the Middle Ages, Sweden has been the only independent country and first initiated modern governance in the 16th century. Embracing modern governance since then, Sweden is also known for its complete aversion to war and advocates for peace on various global platforms. With low rates of crimes, including homicides and femicides, Sweden is regarded as one of the favored cities in the European Union, experiencing rapid development and attracting continuous immigration from foreign countries. The country has a high population growth rate.

Where is Sweden located?

Sweden, a Northern European country located within the Scandinavian region, shares borders with several neighboring countries. It also borders some lakes and seas, including the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia.

Geographically well-positioned, Sweden maintains its highest population density in the southern region. The northern coast of Sweden, which is less preferred by people and experiences very cold winters, encompasses approximately a quarter of Sweden's total population.

What is the population of Sweden?

Approximately 10,612,086 people live in Sweden. With an annual population growth rate of about 1.6%, the country continuously increases its population and focuses on population development. With vast land area, experts predict that Sweden's population will exceed 15 million within approximately five years, based on its economic situation and unemployment rate.

What is the capital of Sweden?

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden. Housing approximately 20% of Sweden's population, Stockholm is also the largest city in Sweden by area. Providing a significant workforce, Stockholm surpasses many major European capital cities in terms of development.

What is the currency of Sweden?

The official currency used in Sweden is the Swedish Krona. 1 Swedish Krona is approximately equal to 0.84 Turkish Lira.

What is the official language of Sweden?

Swedish is the official language used in Sweden.

7. Norway


Norway, a country located in the north of Europe, is bordered by Russia, Sweden, and Finland. Norway is situated in the northern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula in Europe.

The name Norway translates to "the Northern Way" in the local language. Additionally, Norway is considered one of the countries least affected by global warming.

Norway is one of the countries with the lowest crime rates and boasts some of the most luxurious prisons in the world. Each inmate has their own comfortable room with a bed, toilet, bathroom, and the right to access the internet. There are also private gyms and various activity areas available.

If you decide to write a book in Norway, the government becomes your biggest supporter. The state purchases a thousand copies of your book and sends them to countries around the world, allowing you to expand your reach globally.

Being homeless or living on the streets is illegal in Norway. If you are unemployed and without a home or money, the government is obligated to provide you with housing, as well as cover your food and drink expenses.

The standard working hours in Norway are between 6 to 7 hours per day. The hourly wage for the lowest-paid worker is around 3500 Euros.

The cleanest air in the world is found on Svalbard Island in Norway. When first arriving on the island, dizziness and nosebleeds can occur due to the purity of the air.

Norway is known for producing some of the finest salmon. Norwegian salmon has numerous health benefits, and it is known that Norwegians taught the Japanese how to make sushi from salmon.

8. Switzerland


Switzerland is one of the two countries in the world with a square flag (the other being Vatican City). The official name of the state is Confoederatio Helvetica in Latin, hence the abbreviation CH. Switzerland is a confederation consisting of 26 cantons and has 4 official languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh. Despite being located in the heart of Europe, it is not a member of the European Union. Its currency is the Swiss Franc (CHF), not the Euro. Although not a member of the EU, Switzerland has been part of the Schengen Area countries since 2008. The capital of Switzerland is not Zurich but Bern, with Zurich being the largest city. Switzerland has a land area of ​​41,285 square kilometers, roughly the size of Konya. The population is 8 million, with approximately 23% being foreigners. It is the only country in the world governed by direct democracy. Every citizen can collect signatures for laws or even constitutional amendments and bring the matter to a referendum. Despite being so democratic, it is one of the countries that granted women the right to vote relatively late (in 1971). The state does not provide health insurance, and everyone must have private health insurance (average life expectancy is 83 years). Sixty percent of the country is covered by mountains, and there are over 1500 lakes. There are more than 1250 street fountains across Switzerland where you can drink water directly from the tap. According to the Global Innovation Index report, Switzerland is the most innovative country in the world. According to a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, it is also considered the best country to be born in.

9. Luxembourg


The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, or simply Luxembourg, is a small state with a population of 605,405 according to the 2019 census. The country has three official languages: French, German, and Luxembourgish. Despite its small size, Luxembourg has been transformed into a productive work area mainly due to the daily influx of commuters from neighboring countries for work purposes. The country is divided into three districts named Diekirch, Grevenmacher, and Luxembourg. However, these three districts are further divided into a total of 12 cantons, which consist of 16 communes. Among these communes, 12 hold city status, with the largest being the capital, Luxembourg City.

In terms of land area, Luxembourg ranks 175th among the 194 countries in the world. The total land area of the country is 2,586 square kilometers. Luxembourg shares its borders with Germany, France, and Belgium and is known for its green and orderly environment. One of the most notable landmarks in the country is the Adolphe Bridge. The least populous area in terms of population is the town of Wiltz, located near the country's highest peak, the 560-meter Kneiff. The "Red Lands," located in the southern and southwestern parts of the country, is known for being home to the most important industrial centers and largest cities in the country.

Throughout its history, Luxembourg has been culturally overshadowed by its neighbors and was long seen primarily as an agricultural country. However, instead of hindering its development, this situation led to the emergence of its own cultural identity and language. The country is home to numerous museums, the majority of which are located in the capital, Luxembourg City. Luxembourg's well-preserved castles are also listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Luxembourg has been designated as the European Capital of Culture twice, in 1995 and 2007, making it the only city to receive this title twice in Europe. The National Museum of History and Art, Luxembourg City History Museum, Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art, and Diekirch National Military History Museum are among the most well-known museums in the country.

Luxembourg has a very high per capita income, ranking first in Europe and third globally in terms of per capita income. Potatoes and grapes are the most widely cultivated agricultural products in the country. Additionally, Luxembourg has a developed industrial sector, with many prominent insurance companies headquartered in the country. Luxembourg's main trading partners include EU countries and the United States.

10. New Zeland

New Zeland

The flag currently used by New Zealand was adopted after 1869. Its background is blue, with an emblem in the top left corner symbolizing the country's membership in the British Commonwealth. On the right side of the flag, there are four stars. The blue color represents the sky, while the four stars on the flag represent the Southern Cross constellation (Delta, Gamma, Alpha, and Beta).

Where is New Zealand Located?

New Zealand, a member of the Commonwealth, is located in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean. Situated within the Southern Hemisphere, the country is approximately 1500 kilometers away from the country of Australia and is part of the South Pacific Islands.

What is the Capital of New Zealand?

Wellington, known for its snow-capped mountains, is an important city and the capital of New Zealand. The largest city in the country is Auckland. Napier, Queenstown, and Hamilton are other important cities in New Zealand.

What is the Population of New Zealand?

The population of New Zealand, an Oceanian country, is estimated to be 5,228,100 according to The population of the country has increased by approximately 0.82% in the past year. New Zealand ranks 123rd in the world population ranking.

What is the Official Language of New Zealand?

English is the official language of New Zealand, spoken by the majority of the population in their daily lives. Along with English, Maori is also an official language, spoken by a portion of the population. New Zealand places great importance on sign language, which is also considered an official language.

The Economy of New Zealand

New Zealand is considered to have a developed and modern economy among the world's economies. With a dominant market economy, the country's economic income sources include gold mining, maritime trade, flax production, logging, and whale hunting. Despite high per capita incomes, brain drain is one of New Zealand's main problems.

The Climate of New Zealand

The average annual temperature in New Zealand ranges from 18 to 19 degrees Celsius. As a country located in the middle of the ocean, New Zealand experiences sunny winters. Some strong winds can occur during the spring and summer months. Inland areas can be much colder compared to coastal areas.

When to Visit New Zealand?

Being in the Southern Hemisphere, New Zealand experiences the opposite season compared to our country. While summer is experienced in Turkey, winter season is experienced in New Zealand. The most suitable period to visit the country, which can have harsh winters at times, is from October to March. During this period, temperatures are above average.

Social Life in New Zealand

Known as the land of green, New Zealand has a very high level of prosperity. Some of the positive aspects include the fact that there are almost no people considered poor due to the very high per capita incomes.

However, the country's main problem is its lack of scientific development. New Zealand, which is prominent in many areas, can experience brain drain in this regard. Some new studies have been conducted in this field in recent times.

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