Every year, the World Happiness Report releases an index of the happiest countries on the planet. While some might think that happiness is something that can’t be measured, the results are based on how happy the survey participants from each country perceive themselves to be.
The 2019 results of the report show the top 10 happiest countries in the world, according to the happiness levels of the people who live there. The beauty of the report is that now we know which countries to add to our bucket lists if we want to soak up some of that happiness. Hint: We’re all moving to Scandinavia.
10 The Happiest Country: Finland
According to the World Happiness Report for 2019, Finland is officially the happiest country in the world. In the past, Finland has ranked high on the list, so it’s no surprise that it’s come out on top this year. Although it’s geographically close to the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, Finland is not officially considered Scandinavia because it is not part of the Scandinavian Peninsula.
While Finland isn’t a Scandinavian country, it is a Nordic one. Visit this beautiful nation and you’ll find the Arctic Circle, the real Santa’s Village, and stunning cities with spectacular scenery.
9 Scandinavia: Denmark
The Nordic countries traditionally rate very highly on the World Happiness Report, and this year is no different. The second happiest country in the world according to the report is Denmark, one of the three countries making up Scandinavia.
Denmark is widely associated with fairytales due to the fact that it was the home of classic author Hans Christian Andersen. If you visit Copenhagen, you’ll find a statue dedicated to the Little Mermaid in honor of Andersen! Denmark is also associated with fairytales because with all its castles and grand architecture, it radiates a magical vibe.
8 Scandinavia: Norway
Yet another Scandinavian country! The third country on the World Happiest Report is Norway. Also filled with beautiful lakes and similar Nordic scenery, Norway is ideal for travelers who want to spend time basking in the pretty sights.
The capital city of Oslo is home to a selection of museums and other landmarks that are definitely worth seeing. Travelers to the country typically enjoy outdoors activities such as hiking, skiing, and fishing. There is also quite a bit of fascinating Viking history to explore, including preserved ships that can be traced back to the ninth century.
7 Nordic Country: Iceland
Okay, something tells us that these Nordic countries are onto something with regards to mental health. The next happiest country according to the report is Iceland. Though its name suggests otherwise, this country isn’t just one big ice field. The temperatures certainly drop low in the winter, but during summer, the scenery can actually be charming and green.
Iceland is currently a hotspot for tourists from all over the world, and not the cheapest destination either. People visit to enjoy the thermal springs, the hiking trails, the natural land formations, and of course, the Northern Lights.
6 Northwestern Europe: Netherlands
Coming in at number five on the report is the Netherlands. Located in Northern Europe, this tiny country is renowned around the world for its picturesque skylines and relaxed Dutch culture. People travel from all places to visit Amsterdam, a city known for its phenomenal canals and progressive attitudes.
Visit the Netherlands and you’ll never be short of things to do. The country holds a rich history and still maintains many of its cultural traditions that date back centuries. Be sure to travel to the Netherlands for the best tulip shows you’ve ever seen.
5 Central Europe: Switzerland
Historically, Switzerland has made a point of avoiding conflict and staying neutral. Maybe that attitude is what earned the country and its people such a high place on the happiness report! Situated in Central Europe, Switzerland is no stranger to ranking high on the report. The country is renowned for its ideal living conditions.
Being bordered by so many other European countries, Switzerland enjoys a culture that has been influenced by places such as France and Italy. Cities like Zurich and Lucerne are among the prettiest in the world.
4 Scandinavia: Sweden
Look, another Scandinavian country made it to the top ten! Famous for IKEA, Swedish meatballs, and ABBA, there is so much more to this country than meets the eye. Yes, the landscape is divine and the cities are full of fascinating landmarks.
Home to ice hotels, a thriving royal family, hip neighborhoods in its cities, and experts in the fields of songwriting and design, Sweden is definitely a place you should add to your bucket list. The country is known for its progressive attitudes and is very welcoming of travelers.
3 Oceania: New Zealand
In terms of distance, New Zealand couldn’t be further from the Nordic countries. But according to the World Happiness Report, they do share at least one thing in common: They both seem to be home to some very happy people!
New Zealand is off the beaten track for many travelers, who tend to choose Australia as the destination to visit Down Under. But New Zealand definitely has a lot to offer (and is totally worth the lengthy plane trip). From dramatic mountains to famous filming locations, this Oceanic country has it all.
2 North America: Canada
Canadians have a reputation for being happy and easy-going, so it probably doesn’t come as much of a shock that they rank in the top 10 happiest countries in the world. Coming in at number nine, Canada boasts a variety of regions that each have their own unique culture. If you’re going to visit Canada, make sure you allow yourself lots of time to explore!
Canada has something for every kind of traveler. Whether you’re into hiking, water sports, and skiing, or hopping from museum to museum, you’ll fall in love with this American country!
1 Central Europe: Austria
It looks like Switzerland isn’t the only country in Central Europe that made it into the top 10th happiest countries on the planet. Bordering countries like Germany, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic, Austria is officially the 10thhappiest country in the world for 2019.
Austria typically receives fewer international tourists than its neighbor Germany, but if you are one of the few who is visiting the country, then that’s a good thing. Much of Austria remains authentic and untouched by tourists. It’s full of beautiful sights to explore without the crowds that usually go with them!