The World Happiness Index 2023: Finland first, Estonia 31st

According to the World Happiness Index 2023, the happiest people live in Finland, Estonia’s northern neighbour; Estonians themselves, however, have a long way to go in terms of being happy as the country is ranked 31st.

The World Happiness Index relies on three main well-being indicators – life evaluations, positive emotions and negative emotions.

“Our happiness rankings are based on life evaluations, as the more stable measure of the quality of people’s lives. In World Happiness Report 2023, we continue to pay special attention to specific daily emotions (the components of positive and negative affect) to better track how COVID-19 has altered different aspects of life,” the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the compiler of the index, says.

This year’s index has again ranked Finland as the happiest country in the world. This is the sixth year in a row Finland lands in the first spot.

A group of Finns having fun in winter. Photo by Ethan Hu on Unsplash.

Estonia is steadily improving

Estonia, however, is ranked 31st – just behind Saudi Arabia and ahead of Spain. Compared with 2022, Estonia has moved up five spots among the 137 countries the index takes into the account. And Estonia has been steadily improving its happiness ranking. In 2021, it was ranked 40th; in 2019, the country was only 55th.

Lithuania, the southernmost of the Baltic states, ranks a lot higher than Estonia – 20th; and, the country has moved up 14 spots compared with the last year’s index. Latvia is ranked 41st and Russia 70th.

After Finland, the world’s happiest country, come Denmark, Iceland, Israel and the Netherlands. Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Luxembourg and New Zealand complete the top ten.

The least happy countries, according to the index, are Afghanistan, Lebanon and Sierra Leone.

The World Happiness Index is a publication of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, powered by data from the Gallup World Poll.

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