The Netherlands once again ranked 5th-happiest country in the world

The Netherlands once again ranked 5th-happiest country in the world

The Netherlands has only gone and done it again; the country has once again managed to reclaim its position as the fifth happiest country in the world, according to the latest World Happiness Report. 

The World Happiness Report 2023 

Published every spring since 2012, the World Happiness Report ranks 137 countries across the globe according to how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. This year’s theme, “World Happiness, Trust and Social Connections in Times of Crisis”, focuses on how people around the world are able to connect with one another and maintain their happiness in a society that has battled multiple international crises - from pandemic to war - over the past several years. 

As always, the ranking is compiled using data from the Gallup World Poll, in which respondents are asked to evaluate the happiness of their own lives on a scale of one to 10. Using the survey results, the ranking also shows the estimated extent to which six different factors impact happiness:

  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita
  • Life expectancy
  • Generosity
  • Social support
  • Freedom
  • Perceptions of corruption

All countries involved in the ranking are then awarded an overall average score out of 10, which is in turn compared to the benchmark set by the imaginary country Dystopia - home to the world’s least-happy people. 

For the sixth year in a row, Finland has claimed the top spot with a score of 7,804. While Denmark, Iceland and the Netherlands have also managed to hold onto their spots in the top five, this year sees Israel climb from ninth place into fourth, with Switzerland falling slightly from fourth place to eighth

The Dutch remain some of the happiest people in the world

The Netherlands might have seen its position dip slightly in 2020, but 2021 saw the country return to its respectable spot in fifth place - and 2023 sees the country reclaim that position for the third year in a row. This year, however, the Netherlands’ overall score has fallen slightly, from 7,415 in 2022 to 7,403 out of 10.

Interestingly, this year’s report noted that there was minimal inequality of happiness between “the more and less happy halves” of the Dutch population. With a happiness gap of “just” 1,787 out of 10, the Netherlands came in second place behind Afghanistan - a country “where almost everyone is unhappy”, the report explains.

The top 10 happiest countries in the world 

According to the 2023 report, the 10 happiest countries in the world are: 

  1. Finland (7,804)
  2. Denmark (7,586)
  3. Iceland (7,530)
  4. Israel (7,473)
  5. The Netherlands (7,403)
  6. Sweden (7,395)
  7. Norway (7,315)
  8. Switzerland (7,240)
  9. Luxembourg (7,228) 
  10. New Zealand (7,123)

Once again, this year sees Afghanistan occupy the bottom spot, with a score of just 1,859 out of 10. To read the full report, or to see how your home country performed, click here.

Thumb: RossHelen via

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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