The Netherlands is once again in the top 10 happiest countries in the world

The Netherlands is once again in the top 10 happiest countries in the world

According to the UN World Happiness Report 2018, the Netherlands is the 6th happiest country in the world. The Netherlands also managed to rank in this position last year.

UN World Happiness Report

Each year, the UN investigates the reported level of happiness in countries around the world. This year, in the sixth World Happiness Report, more than 150 countries were included in the study.

The UN report evaluates the happiness levels in a country by assessing the population by means of a survey in which individuals report their own life evaluations. The following variables are used to judge a country’s level of happiness:

  • GDP per capita
  • Social support
  • Healthy life expectancy at birth
  • Freedom to make life choices
  • Generosity
  • Absence of corruption

Social support refers to whether a person feels that they have relatives or friends who they can count on, should they find themselves in a troublesome situation. Freedom to make life choices is based on the binary response to the question “Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your freedom to choose what you do with your life?” The generosity factor refers to whether individuals donate to charity.

Immigrant happiness

This year, the report also focussed on immigrant’s happiness. This was measured in 117 countries. In these countries, there was a sample size of more than 100 foreign-born respondents.

World’s happiest countries

In 2018, the top five countries from the previous year are still in the top five, however, some countries have switched places. The biggest leap in the top five has been made by Finland, which was in fifth place in 2017 and came in on top with first place this year.

In second place this year is Norway, followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland in third, fourth and five place respectively. The Netherlands takes sixth place this year, as it did last year. Despite holding the same position it did last year, the average Dutch citizen was not as happy as they were in the previous year.

Coming in last, at 156th place, is Burundi, which is preceded by Yemen, Tanzania, South Sudan and the Central African Republic in 152nd, 153rd, 154th and 155th place respectively.

Top 10 world’s happiest countries

The following countries make it into the top ten happiest in the world.

  1. Finland
  2. Norway
  3. Denmark
  4. Iceland
  5. Switzerland
  6. Netherlands
  7. Canada
  8. New Zealand
  9. Sweden
  10. Australia

World immigrant happiness

When it comes to the happiness of foreign-born nationals compared to that of locals, Finland tops the list again. Denmark, Norway, Iceland and New Zealand make up the rest of the top five.

In this particular ranking, the Netherlands doesn’t hold onto its sixth place. Instead, it falls out of the top 10 to 11th place. Coming in just above the Netherlands is Mexico. The top 10 happiest countries for immigrants are as follows.

  1. Finland
  2. Denmark
  3. Norway
  4. Iceland
  5. New Zealand
  6. Australia
  7. Canada
  8. Sweden
  9. Switzerland
  10. Mexico

For more information, see the World Happiness Report 2018.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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Festum Qin 17:20 | 18 March 2019

I deeply learnt this factor not suitable for expats.