Finding Your Happy Place: The World Happiness Report 2019

Posted on Mar 26, 2019 | 0 comments

Finding Your Happy Place: The World Happiness Report 2019

What countries make their residents most happy?  The World Happiness Report has released their 2019 survey results ranking 156 countries, based on data from the Gallup World Poll. You can probably guess the least happy countries—those experiencing civil war or great political instability—but the top ten might be a surprise.  

The rankings are based on answers to the “Cantril Ladder” question in the survey that helps respondents evaluate the quality of their current lives on a scale of 0 to 10. Considerations include gross domestic product, social support from friends and family, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and perceived corruption.  Ratings are then averaged over a three-year period to assign each country a “happiness” value. There are variations in participation and frequency of the surveys among various countries; in-depth methodology for the report can be found here.

In the 2019 report, Finland wins first place for the second year in a row with a score of 7.8—a significant gap between the lowest scoring country, South Sudan, who received a 2.9. The top ten list for 2019:

  1. Finland
  2. Denmark
  3. Norway
  4. Iceland
  5. Netherlands
  6. Switzerland
  7. Sweden
  8. New Zealand
  9. Canada
  10. Austria

The United States has slipped to #19, and China, despite its healthy economy, is rated at #93.  Read the full list to review all countries.

This year’s report has a focus on happiness and community: how happiness has been changing over the past dozen years, and how information technology, governance and social norms influence communities. Results of the report can help governments assess what policies are creating positive impacts for their communities.

The “happiness” aspect of life is only one of many expats and digital nomads need to consider when moving to a new country. Economic opportunity or location might be more important, but given the increasing opportunities for workers to contribute meaningfully in their profession while remaining location independent, aspects such as the happiness rating of a country can be very significant.

Want to learn more about moving your job to a new country?

Passport Career provides detailed career information and extensive resources about networking, finding a job, an internship, or an alternative career opportunity. If your organization, embassy, university/college, library, or other institution would like access to our country portfolios (15,000+ pages of expert content for 80+ countries and 250+ cities) to share with your students, employees, spouses/partners, and others managing a national or international career transition, please contact us (or send email to: regarding a free, live, online demo and details on how to obtain a license to access Passport Career.


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