Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

This is the world’s happiest country in 2016

iStock_000061462728_Medium.jpg

If there's one thing that unites us all it's the search for happiness.

Today, on the cusp of World Happiness Day (20 March), a new survey by the UN has unveiled where in the world people are the most content with life and Denmark has topped the list.

With its long summer nights, egalitarian ethos and focus on "hygge" - which means cosiness, camaraderie and contentment - the country regularly cements its position at the top of every global quality-of-life survey. This year it has reclaimed the number one spot for happiness after losing to Switzerland in 2015.

The other Scandinavian countries ranked high on the list with Iceland taking third place, Norway taking fourth, and Finland taking fifth.

Canada (sixth), New Zealand (eighth) and Australia (ninth) are the only non-European countries in the list. 

The UK came 23rd on the list, behind Singapore (22nd), Ireland (19th) and Germany (16th).

Totally hygge: outdoor cafe seating in Copenhagen, Denmark

Totally hygge: outdoor cafe seating in Copenhagen, Denmark

The World Happiness Report which has been created by the UN's Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) since 2012 and it considers happiness to be a better indicator of human welfare than income, poverty, education, health and good government. 

The survey takes factors into consideration such as "freedom to make life choices", "generosity" and "perceptions of corruption" alongside social support and GDP per capita to calculate a happiness level for 157 countries.

This year the study found that people are happier living in societies where there is less inequality of happiness and that the inequality has increased significantly between 2005-2011 to 2012-2015. 

The five least happiest countries were found to be Benin, Afghanistan, Togo, Syria and Burundi.

Top 25 happiest countries in 2015

  1. Denmark (7.526)
  2. Switzerland (7.509)
  3. Iceland (7.501)
  4. Norway (7.498)
  5. Finland (7.413)
  6. Canada (7.404)
  7. Netherlands (7.339)
  8. New Zealand (7.334)
  9. Australia (7.313)
  10. Sweden (7.291)
  11. Israel (7.267)
  12. Austria (7.119)
  13. United States (7.104)
  14. Costa Rica (7.087)
  15. Puerto Rico (7.039)
  16. Germany (6.994)
  17. Brazil (6.952)
  18. Belgium (6.929)
  19. Ireland (6.907)
  20. Luxembourg (6.871)
  21. Mexico (6.778)
  22. Singapore (6.739)
  23. United Kingdom (6.725)
  24. Chile (6.705)
  25. Panama (6.701)

None of the above? Tell us what makes you happy in the comments below.

Related

ONLINE_ARTICLE.jpg

This is what 30 looks like to women across the world

HiRes.jpg

Should we stay in the European Union?

1930433_31022120725_9674_n.jpg

Why I won't let fear stop me from travelling alone as a woman

ellie goulding.jpg

Meet the famous women taking career breaks

309_tablet_scoop2_pizza_lead_v1.jpg

Eat the best pizza (wherever you are)

Adam and I.jpg

What happened when I flew to Croatia for a date with a stranger

cornwall.jpg

Britain's most enticing literary haunts to visit

northern lights 1.jpg

See the incredible pictures of aurora borealis lighting up the UK

iStock_000059737178_Medium.jpg

Middle class pick up lines take the internet by storm

Comments

More

Why embracing the great outdoors makes Norwegians happier

And how it can work for you, too

by The Stylist web team
30 Nov 2016

The 10 most inspiring cities in the world have been revealed

And guess which British city has made the list?

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Nov 2016

This airline’s flights could be completely free within a decade

Um, what?

by Moya Crockett
22 Nov 2016

Study reveals where in Europe your job would make you the most money

Want to exit post-Brexit?

by Moya Crockett
22 Nov 2016

Dream home? This couple have built their own DIY island

And it’s ridiculously beautiful

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Nov 2016

Stylist’s Instagram travel competition: the winners

18 Nov 2016

Everything you need to know about Airbnb Trips

The website has introduced a major new feature

by Amy Swales
17 Nov 2016

“I went travelling after being jilted - here's what I learned”

After she was left heartbroken, Katy Colins set off to explore the world alone.

by Moya Crockett
17 Nov 2016

10 great light art festivals around the world

From Amsterdam to Australia, brighten up the dark winter with these dazzling shows

by Anna Melville-James
16 Nov 2016

Museum of Happiness hosting series of free events to cheer us all up

From free yoga sessions to feel-good movie nights

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Nov 2016