The Netherlands’ highest ranking ever

The Netherlands has taken fifth place, its best position ever, in the new World Happiness Report from the United Nations. Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland took the first four slots, while South Sudan was named the world’s least happy country. 

The report bolsters Amsterdam's reputation as an excellent place to work and live, and closely follows a February study that positioned the Netherlands as the world's most connected country. The city was also named one of Europe's greenest capitals in January, emphasising how eco-friendly policies and features improve residents' lives.

This year’s edition of the report centred on happiness and community. It also looked at the evolution of happiness over the previous 12 years, as well as the effects of technology, government policy, conflicts and social norms.

Good for the business community

Six key variables that encourage wellbeing were used in the report to rank countries: freedom, income, life expectancy, trust, generosity and social support. The top 10 countries all performed well in these areas, in addition to emotional measures of wellbeing. 

For the Amsterdam business community, this report may help the drive to recruit and retain international talent. Highly-skilled workers will likely be attracted to the excellent quality of life offered in the Dutch capital and throughout the Netherlands. In theory, this may make it easier for companies to fill roles across sectors like tech and the life sciences, helping alleviate labour shortages. Additionally, the workers who take these positions may bolster the Netherlands’ ranking in future editions of the report. For instance, they may contribute to scientific advances that allow people to live longer, healthier lives.

Read more business news from around Amsterdam.