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Denmark the second happiest country in the world – report

Ben Hamilton
March 20th, 2023


Nordics claim five of the top seven spots on World Happiness Report, with Finland number one

It’s all about the hygge, right? (photo: Cory Doctorow/Flickr)

Happiest is an industry in Denmark. Barely a day goes by without another headline referring to the Danes as the happiest people in the world.

Meik Wiking is one of several authors who has made a career out of it. Not only has he written several bestselling books about the secret behind the Danes’ happiness, but he is also the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, which can be found on Admiralgade in the centre of Copenhagen.

But yet the Danes aren’t the happiest people in the world. That hasn’t been the case since 2016. For the last six years, 2018-2023, the Finns have claimed the title (Norway won in 2017).

And besides, it’s the population of Finland/Denmark/Norway – “the resident populations in each country, rather than their citizenship or place of birth”, explains the report.

One place up the ladder
Nevertheless, this year’s World Happiness Report, which was published by the UN this morning, does rank Denmark as the second happiest country in the world – an improvement of one place on last year – behind perennial winners Finland.  

The report, which takes most of its data from Gallup, is based on six main variables: real GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and freedom from corruption.

However, a few other factors come into play, including the way the countries have dealt with corona.

Iceland, Israel, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Luxembourg and New Zealand completed the top ten. The least happy nations were Afghanistan and Lebanon.


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