Can you guess which is the happiest country in the world?

The UN’s World Happiness Report is out, and one Nordic country has topped it for the fifth year running

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver
UK Editor
Helsinki view
Photograph: Shutterstock

For obvious reasons, it’s been pretty hard to keep our spirits up over the past couple of years. But in one particular country, happiness still appears to have come quite naturally – even in hella fraught times.

With its beautiful Arctic landscapes, rich heritage of foraging and fondness for outdoor swimming and saunas, Finland certainly sounds like some sort of utopian dreamland. And now this small Nordic nation has been named the happiest country in the world… again.

The United Nations’ annual World Happiness Report has shifted its focus slightly during the pandemic, looking more closely at the effects of the past two years and how people around the world have coped. But even despite those changes, Finland still ranked number one – for the fifth year in a row, in fact.

The report’s authors said this could be because Finland has always ranked very high on social support in times of trouble, which have likely been crucial in creating collective warm-and-fuzzy feelings over the past year.

Oh, and it’s not just Finland. The entire Nordic region always seems to smash these sorts of rankings, and this year they once again dominate the upper end of the listThe rest of the top ten is mostly made up of European countries, with a few surprise entries making their way into the list.

Here is the top ten in full:

1. Finland 🇫🇮
2. Denmark 🇩🇰
3. Iceland 🇮🇸
4. Switzerland🇨🇭
5. Netherlands 🇳🇱
6. Luxembourg 🇱🇺
7. Sweden 🇸🇪
8. Norway 🇳🇴
9. Israel 🇮🇱
10. New Zealand 🇳🇿

So now you’ve got plenty of inspiration for your next trip abroad… or maybe even a more permanent move. 

Got five minutes to spare? Want to tell us what life is like in your city? Take the Time Out Index survey here.

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