Switzerland retains its place as one of the 10 happiest nations on Earth

Switzerland retains its place as one of the 10 happiest nations on Earth

The World Happiness Report for 2023 has seen Switzerland’s position fall by four places compared to last year. Despite this, people living and working in Switzerland are still some of the happiest people on Earth.

World Happiness Report 2023

Every year, the World Happiness Report analyses 137 nations from around the world to see which country's citizens are happiest. As part of this year’s theme, titled “World Happiness, Trust and Social Connections in Times of Crisis”, the study took special care to see how people around the world have been able to maintain social connections and happiness in a time of global crisis - from the conclusion of the pandemic to economic turmoil and war.

To create the ranking, data is drawn from the Gallup World Poll, a survey where respondents rate their own happiness on a scale of one to 10. This is then combined with the following factors:

  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita
  • Life expectancy
  • Generosity
  • Social support
  • Freedom
  • Perceptions of corruption

Once these factors are all combined, each nation is given an average score out of 10, which is then compared to a benchmark imaginary country called Dystopia - home to the saddest people in the world.

Like last year's survey, the Scandinavian countries dominated the top of the ranking, with Finland placing first with a score of 7,804 out of 10. Denmark and Iceland rounded out the podium places, with Israel and the Netherlands completing the top five.

Switzerland is the eighth happiest nation on earth

After coming in the top three consistently in the early 2010s, and even placing first in 2015, Switzerland’s score has slumped significantly over the last few years. Despite having come in fourth in 2022, the alpine nation has fallen back four positions to place eighth in 2023.

With 0,6 points separating the top 10 nations, Switzerland finds itself among some tough competition. The country’s position was also not helped by the fact that the Swiss score has dropped, from 7,512 in 2022 to 7,240 today.

However, it must be noted that this is likely due to other nations on the list scoring better, not Switzerland scoring worse. In fact, the alpine nation’s corruption, generosity, freedom, and social support scores all increased, with only life expectancy - largely as a consequence of the COVID pandemic - and GDP per capita scores seeing significant falls.

10 happiest nations on earth in 2023

According to the World Happiness Report for 2023, the 10 happiest nations in the world are:

  1. Finland (7,804)
  2. Denmark (7,586)
  3. Iceland (7,530)
  4. Israel (7,473)
  5. The Netherlands (7,403)
  6. Sweden (7,395)
  7. Norway (7,315)
  8. Switzerland (7,240)
  9. Luxembourg (7,228) 
  10. New Zealand (7,123)

On the flip side, the troubled nation of Afghanistan occupies the bottom spot, with a score of just 1,859 out of 10. To read the full report, or to see how your home country faired, click here.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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