In a ranking of countries based on six different variables (GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and corruption) Latvia is in a dour-faced 41st place, behind almost-cracking-a-grin Estonia (31st place) and hilarious Lithuania, "which has steadily risen over the past six years, from 52nd in 2017 to 20th this year," the report says.
Back in 2017, Latvia was ranked a depressing 54th, so while we may not yet be gamboling in a carefree manner through the meadows like our southern neighbors, we are at least a bit less miserable than we used to be. We've even managed to climb one place from the 2022 ranking of 42nd and increased our points total from 6,180 to 6,213. Well done, us.
For international comparison, slightly happier than Latvians are Nicaraguans, and slightly less happy are Bahrainis.
According to the 2023 data, of 137 countries surveyed, the happiest country in the world is Finland – yes, Finland.
Finland remains in the top position for the sixth year in a row. Lithuania is the only new country in the top twenty, up more than 30 places since 2017. War-torn Afghanistan and Lebanon remain the two unhappiest countries in the survey, with average life evaluations more than five points lower (on a scale running from 0 to 10) than in the ten happiest countries.
The top ten countries are ordered:
- New Zealand
The World Happiness Report reflects a worldwide demand for more attention to happiness and well-being as criteria for government policy. It reviews the state of happiness in the world today and shows how the science of happiness explains personal and national variations in happiness.
The World Happiness Report is a publication of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, using Gallup World Poll data. You can explore the full data at: https://worldhappiness.report/