Turns Out Australians Are Actually Pretty Happy, According to This World Happiness Report

Bondi Beach Australia

Every year, it’s always fascinating to see which countries topped the United Nation’s annual World Happiness Report 2023. Collated by the UN’s initiative the Sustainable Solutions Network, the report has been published annually since 2012. This year, Finland topped the list yet again.

To measure happiness, the report uses survey data taken from the Gallup World Poll and asks respondents from each country to evaluate their life satisfaction over the past three years. Specifically, respondents are asked to evaluate their current life, compared to the life they’d ideally like to be living, scoring 0 to 10.

“It asks respondents to think of a ladder, with the best possible life for them being a 10 and the worst possible life being a 0,” the report reads. “They are then asked to rate their own current lives on that 0 to 10 scale.”

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The Gallup World Poll usually takes a sample of around 1,000 respondents from each country. This year’s happiness rankings are based on an average of life evaluations across three years, 2020, 2021 and 2022. This means they show how people felt during the pandemic.

The report says there are six variables that play a strong role in supporting happiness. These include social support, which the report defines as having someone to count on in times of trouble, GDP per capita, which is how much each country produces, divided by the number of people in the country, and healthy life expectancy, which means how long a person’s life is and how their physical and mental health is throughout.

Freedom to make life choices, generosity, and perception of corruption is the other three factors that play into happiness.

So, with all that in mind, where does Australia rank? Among the happiest countries in the world, it placed 12th, just behind New Zealand and Austria, but ahead of the US, Germany and the UK. Finland placed first on the list, followed by Denmark and Iceland. Israel, Netherlands and Finland followed.

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The report noted that most populations around the world are incredibly resilient, despite crises including the pandemic, rising inflation and the war in Ukraine. It also notes that people are generally happier living in countries where the gap between the happiest and the unhappiest respondents in the nation is smaller.

So, with all that in mind, ahead is the full list of happiest countries on average in the past three years, according to the UN’s World Happiness Report 2023.

20 Happiest Countries in the World, Currently

  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. United States
  16. Germany
  17. Belgium
  18. Czechia
  19. United Kingdom
  20. Lithuania

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