International Day of Happiness – who tops the leaderboard?

On this International Day of Happiness, ever wonder why some countries seem to be on a perpetual happiness high, while others are stuck in a vibe-check crisis? Thanks to the latest scoops from the ‘Mental State of the World’ report and the ‘Global Happiness Ranking’, we’ve got the insider info on who’s topping the charts on the global feel-good leaderboard and who could really use a pick-me-up playlist.

Where the Party Never Ends

First off, let’s talk about the places where happiness is basically the national sport. Imagine living in a country where the vibe is so positive, it’s like your life’s on a constant Instagram filter of joy.

Chilltopia (let’s pretend that’s its name): This place is scoring happiness points like it’s no one’s business. Picture free yoga classes in every park and people actually smiling on their way to work.

Goodvibeland: Just a step behind, with an almost illegal amount of public holidays and a national diet that’s 50% chocolate, 50% happiness.

The Struggle is Real

On the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got countries where the mood is more ‘Monday morning’ all year round. These are places where life’s challenges pile up faster than unread notifications.

Mehville: Where the national mascot is a shrug emoji, and the happiness score needs a caffeine boost.

Sadtown: The place that happiness forgot. It’s like if grumpy cat was a country.

Happiness by Region: A Quick Tour

Taking a whirlwind tour around the world, we find that happiness levels vary wildly. Western Europe is kinda showing off with their work-life balance and café culture, while some parts of the Global South are proving that community and resilience can keep spirits high, even when times are tough.

It’s a mixed bag, showing that joy doesn’t come in a one-size-fits-all package.

So, What Gives?

Why are some countries basically living in a perpetual state of weekend bliss while others can’t catch a break? It’s not just about cash or climate. Things like how much folks feel supported by their community, how free they are to make their own life choices, and if they’ve got a safety net for tough times play huge roles.

On the flip side, places where frowns are more common often face bigger issues like economic instability or political challenges that make everyday life harder for everyone.

Time for Some Real Talk

This all begs the bigger question: What’s the secret sauce to making a nation happy? Is it just about better policies, or is there something deeper at play? Maybe it’s about building societies where people feel connected, supported, and free to be themselves.

As we digest all this happiness and gloom data, it’s a chance for us to think about what truly matters for our well-being. Let’s take inspiration from the world’s happiest places and figure out how we can spread those good vibes around. And for the places that are struggling, it’s a reminder that we’ve all got work to do to make this world a happier place for everyone.

So, perhaps the most worrying, saddest realisation, according to The Global Mind Project’s “Mental State of the World” report 2023, the UK is officially the world’s second-most miserable country, beaten by only Uzbekistan

The report, based on surveys from over 400,000 people in 71 countries, shows a decline in mental health since the pandemic of 2020. In 2019, the nonprofit neuroscience research organization Sapien Labs began releasing its yearly Global Mind Project. The study uses a Mental Health Quotient (MHQ) to assess various aspects of mental health and participants are categorised based on their scores, ranging from “thriving” to “distressed”.

There is a 14.3% disparity between the top and bottom ranked countries on the MHQ scale.  Overall, English-speaking South Asia, Russian-speaking Central Asia, and nations in the Core Anglosphere ranked in the bottom third, while Spanish-speaking Latin American nations made up the top half of the rankings.

Here’s a breakdown of the top 10 happiest and unhappiest countries in the world:


  1. Dominican Republic
  2. Sri Lanka
  3. Tanzania
  4. Panama
  5. Malaysia
  6. Nigeria
  7. Venezuela
  8. El Salvador
  9. Costa Rica
  10. Uruguay


  1. Uzbekistan
  2. UK
  3. South Africa
  4. Brazil
  5. Tajikistan
  6. Australia
  7. Egypt
  8. Ireland
  9. Iraq
  10. Yemen

Interestingly, when we consider the Global Happiness Ranking (GHR) report for 2024, it’s a very different picture, according to Business Connect Magazine:

According to the report, the top 3 happiest countries in the 2024 rankings were all from Northern Europe.   Finland took first place with an amazing overall score of 95.67, followed by Denmark at 95.31 and Iceland at 95.29 😊

Eswatini, on the other hand, was named the least happiest country, with a GHR score of 59.95, apparently due to the country’s low life expectancy and GDP per capita rates.

Lesotho (60.12), Kuwait (60.64), Turkmenistan (61.07), and Libya (61.86) make up the bottom 3 unhappiest countries in the world ☹

So, whether you’re living in Chilltopia or looking to bring a little more light to Mehville, remember: happiness is more than just a number on a report.

It’s about creating a world where everyone has a reason to smile. Let’s keep pushing for that, one good vibe at a time.

Because HAPPINESS is like jam – you can’t spread even a little, without getting some on yourself.

Happy International Happiness Day for Wed 😊

#internationalhappinessday #happiness #happyworld

Hello... I'm Marie Cross

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