The Top 10 Happiest Countries in the World in 2024

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The World Happiness Report recently revealed its latest findings and once again, the Nordic countries prevail! The organisation suggests that their superior well-being is a result of traits including life expectancy, social support and generosity. While living there sounds blissful, Northern Europe also makes for some joyful alternative city breaks and holidays. Here, we’ve listed the top 10 happiest countries in the world in 2024 and included some of our favourite parts of them.

10. Australia


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Australia’s sprawling landscape is punctuated by national parks full of wonders, and can make you feel like you’re the only person for hundreds of miles. It’s not all about the nature though…buzzing hubs like Sydney and Melbourne feature epic beaches and trendy waterfront areas. Oenophiles will want to tour some of the acres of abundant vineyards, where you can taste some of the finest wines in the world.

9. Switzerland


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Switzerland usually floats somewhere around the top of this list, and this year it has settled in ninth place. A melting pot of its European neighbours, the nation often evokes cosy images of snow-sprinkled alpine lodges, elaborate architecture and creamy chocolate. It might remind you of Christmas — a time of worldwide jubilance and togetherness. Aside from the obvious, Switzerland ranked as the third richest country in the world in February. Money might not buy you happiness, but apparently it can help!

8. Luxembourg


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Luxembourg is nestled in a small pocket of Europe between Belgium, Germany and France. It was ranked the richest country in the world based on GDP per capita in February. The small, sylvan nation undulates with gorges and rivers and hides fairytale castles amongst its verdant woodland. Luxembourg City’s old town is particularly intriguing — a UNESCO World Heritage site no less — and is home to the magnificent Bock. The Bock encompasses the fortress built by Count Siegfried in the 10th century and the raised rocky mound it’s built upon, and is full of secrets — including dungeons, prisons and miles of tunnels.

7. Norway


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Norway is regarded as one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and what brings more serenity than a picturesque landscape all around you? It’s home to the Flam Railway, which is one of the steepest railway lines in the world, and considered one of the most spectacular too, winding past glacial waterfalls and through mountain tunnels. Its modern capital of Oslo was named European Green Capital of 2019 in light of its sustainability efforts and you’ll find lots of cheerful locals and tourists exploring its streets by bicycle.

6. The Netherlands


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The Netherlands might be infamous for some of its hedonistic ways, but the reasons why Dutch teenagers are said to be happier than those from other countries is not because they partake in grown-up activities earlier, but because they are allowed more freedom growing up. The nation’s capital of Amsterdam might offer a wild night out, but it is also home to uplifting blossoms, a rich art collection, romantic canals — and, of course, charming windmills.

5. Israel


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Israel boasts spectacular scenery, historical sights and pretty beaches. The founder of the wellbeing app Happy Things is actually based in Tel Aviv, and the country was recently voted the top place to eat falafel in the world!

4. Sweden


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Sweden probably made it into the top ten because of fika alone. Fika is a tradition wherein Swede’s take time out of their day to drink excellent coffee and eat scrumptious pastries (cinnamon bun, please!) while chatting to their friends, families or co-workers. The country is also praised for its generous parental leave and gender equality. Add to the mix its ice-cool fashion scene, azure archipelagos and photogenic red cottages and we’re wondering why we haven’t moved there already.

3. Iceland


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The land of ethereal nature claims a spot in the top five. While Iceland only sees a few hours of daylight during winter, it boasts mystical fjords, surreal geysers, natural hot springs and a prime position from which to experience the northern lights. A famous Icelandic proverb states, ‘Better to go barefoot than without books’, and I think we can all agree that getting completely lost in a juicy tale is much better for our happiness and well-being than scrolling through our smartphones!

2. Denmark


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As one of the most well-known Northern European countries, Denmark has unsurprisingly come second in the stakes. An aesthetically pleasing place, its capital of Copenhagen is a particularly popular alternative for a romantic city break, featuring neat, bright architecture and the enchanting Tivoli Gardens. Akin to its Nordic neighbours, Denmark is renowned for its environmental efforts and elite restaurant scene. Plus, it boasts a magical literary background — the UNESCO World Heritage site, Kronborg Castle, is said to be Shakespeare’s inspiration for Hamlet, and the bronze statue of the mythical Little Mermaid is one of its most popular attractions.

1. Finland

Finland has stolen the crown once again, and its capital of Helsinki has also been named the happiest city in the world. Here, you’ll find cool minimalist concept stores and hundreds of secluded islands to hop around — Suomenlinna is a UNESCO-protected sea fortress that spans six of these islets. While Finland may not be the most tropical of locations, its steaming saunas provide relief from the often bracing weather. A popular invigorating activity is ice dipping — in other words, plunging the body into freezing water — and combining this madness with a hot sauna is said to encourage feelings of euphoria (the Ancient Greeks were a fan of this ritual, after all…). Finland is also committed to sustainability, a virtue that often brings with it a sense of satisfaction — and exceptional local fare.

And the rest…

11. New Zealand
12. Costa Rica
13. Kuwait
14. Austria
15. Canada
16. Belgium
17. Ireland
18. Czechia
19. Lithuania
20. United Kingdom