How Happy Are People In The UK Compared To The Rest Of The World?

We might have a somewhat cynical reputation, but where do we actually stand in the stats?
Justin Lambert via Getty Images

The UK has officially dropped two places in the annual World Happiness Report compared to last year.

That means we only just make it into the world’s top 20 happiest countries, according to an annual league table of the almost 137 nations sponsored by the UN.

The scientists who analyse the data found that Finland came out on top for the sixth year in a row while Afghanistan is the most unhappy country in the league table.

Here are the top 20 happiest countries in the world, in order:

1. Finland
2. Denmark
3. Iceland
4. Israel
5. Netherlands
6. Sweden
7. Norway
8. Switzerland
9. Luxembourg
10. New Zealand
11. Austria
12. Australia
13. Canada
14. Ireland
15. US
16. Germany
17. Belgium
18. Czechia
19. UK
20. Lithuania

The UK was in 17th last year, while the US has climbed up the ranks this year from 16th to 15th.

France, on the other hand, dropped out of the top 20, placing 21st while Lithuania took its place.

Ukraine actually ranked 92nd, rather than 98th as it did in 2022 – analysts believe this increase is due to a shared purpose among the population within the war-torn nation.

The report, which has been released annually for 11 years, is based on 100,000 people’s own assessments of their happiness combined with economic and social data.

For this year’s summary, data from social media was used to assess people’s feeling before and after Covid.

Each country is given a happiness score between one to 10 on an average of data over a three-year period – so this year’s looked back to 2020.

There actually wasn’t much of a gap between different scores within those in the top 20 with No.1 Finland scoring 7.804 out of 10, and No.20 Lithuania scoring 6.763.

The report, produced by the UN-backed Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Centre for Sustainable Development at Columbia University in New York, also found most countries remained pretty stable over the last three years in the ranks.

Surprisingly, the Covid pandemic did not make us all unhappier, with people around the world remaining “remarkably resilient” – in fact, there’s been a higher level of acts of kindness reported by individuals since the pandemic.