The Netherlands is ranked 5th happiest country in the world
According to the recently published World Happiness Report, the Dutch maintained their 5th position as one of the world’s happiest countries. This ranking looks at 6 indicators that point to overall life satisfaction, social and economic well being. It also assesses each country’s ‘happiness gap’, or the disparity between the most and least happy people.
Showing resilience in challenging times
2022 was a challenging year with the lingering effects of the pandemic clashing with emerging conflicts, worldwide inflation and the climate crisis. Despite the seeming doom and gloom, Gallup’s World Happiness Report 2023 shows consistent performance by the world’s happiest nations, suggesting that societies that cultivate trust, good will, and supportive social connections are more resilient when it comes to a crisis.
The Netherlands maintains its top spot
Netherlands once again came in 5th place globally, maintaining its spot from last year. Finland claimed the top place, followed by Denmark, Iceland, and Israel. Based on self-reported life evaluations compiled over the last 3 years, the ranking looks at 6 variables to determine overall ‘happiness’:
- Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita
- Life expectancy including physical and mental health
- Social support
- Personal freedom
- Perceptions of corruption within government
The report's theme this year was 'Trust and Social Connections in Times of Crisis' and focused on how people around the world were able to connect with one another and maintain their happiness despite turbulent times.
Closing the ‘happiness gap’
The report also looked at the trends for distribution of well-being per country, comparing the top and bottom halves of each population to assess the ‘happiness gap’. Of the happiest countries, the Netherlands had the smallest gap between the most and least happy people, meaning Dutch residents experience happiness relatively equally. The country was second only to Afghanistan - the least happy country in the world, according to the ranking.
The report highlights the ‘remarkable resilience’ of countries globally in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the pain and suffering during this period cannot be diminished, overall averages remained on par with pre-pandemic levels. This comes on the heels of Numbeo's recent finding that the Netherlands ranks #1 for quality of life, making the country a top performer when it comes to the social and economic well-being of its residents.