Skip to navigationSkip to content

This is what life looks like in the happiest places on Earth

Reuters/Sophia Juliane Lydolph/Scanpix Denmark
Life is good in Copenhagen, Denmark.
By Kate Groetzinger
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The fourth edition of the World Happiness Report found Denmark is once again home to the happiest people on earth, while people in Burundi are the least happy.

Researchers found social support, incomes, and life expectancy to be the three most important factors in determining overall happiness. They also found that people are significantly happier living in societies where there is less inequality. This year, the top ten happiest countries are Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, and Sweden—and here’s what they look like:

1. Denmark

Reuters/Sophia Juliane Lydolph/Scanpix Denmark
People walk along an avenue of blossoming cherry trees in Copenhagen, Denmark.

2. Switzerland

Reuters/Denis Balibouse
A cheese maker gathers his cows in Gruyeres, Switzerland.

3. Iceland

Reuters/Stoyan Nenov
People relax in a hot spring near the town of Grindavik, Iceland.

4. Norway

Reuters/Cathal McNaughton
A man cycles past a warehouse in Oslo, Norway.

5. Finland

Reuters/Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva
A demonstration against racism in Helsinki, Finland on July 28th, 2015.

6. Canada

Reuters/Fred Thornhill
Youths play pond hockey near the town of Bobcaygeon, Canada.

7. Netherlands

Reuters/Michael Kooren
Cyclists visit a Dutch tulip field in Noordwijk, Netherlands.

8. New Zealand

Reuters/Marcos Brindicci
A woman dives from a platform into a giant air bed at a festival for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

9. Australia

Reuters/Jason Reed
A couple embraces as they watch the first sunrise of the new year on Bondi Beach in Australia.

10. Sweden

Reuters/Tobias Rostlund/TT News Agency
A skater speeds on rain-wet ice on lake Orlangen, south of Stockholm, Sweden.

Nordic countries, which have strong social safety nets and free public services like education and healthcare, have consistently taken the top spots on the list. In fact, Denmark topped the first World Happiness Report, published in 2012, as well as the second report, published in 2013. Last year, Switzerland and Iceland topped the list, knocking Denmark down to third.

The report is produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a group of specialists convened by the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, and came out ahead of UN World Happiness day on March 20.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.