Countries are ranked according to self-assessed life evaluations and answers to the Cantril ladder question which asks respondents to think of a ladder with the best possible life for them being a 10 and the worst being a 0 and then rate their current lives on that scale.

The Wellbeing Research Centre at the University of Oxford, which publishes the report, says that in addition to using the Cantril ladder question, the report also considers the following six variables in the more than 130 countries ranked in the report. GDP per capita, Social Support, Healthy life expectancy, Freedom, Generosity, Freedom of corruption.

While this year the top ten countries on the list remain mostly unchanged, the top 20 saw a bit more action. Costa Rica and Kuwait jumped to 12th and 13th place, respectively while the United States and Germany fell off the top 20 completely. The U.S. dropped from No. 15 to No. 23 this year.

Of the top ten happiest countries, only the Netherlands and Australia have populations over 15 million, and of the top 20, only Canada and the U.K. have populations over 30 million.

Finland outperforms the average country in education, work-life balance, environment quality, social connections, safety and life satisfaction, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Better Life Index.

Life expectancy at birth in Finland is around 82 years, 85 for women and 79 for men.

The Finnish people’s strong sense of community is further proven by the OECD Better Life Index, which states that 96% of people believe they know someone they can rely on in their time of need.

Top 10 happiest countries in the world

  1. Finland
  2. Denmark
  3. Iceland
  4. Sweden
  5. Israel
  6. Netherlands
  7. Norway
  8. Luxembourg
  9. Switzerland
  10. Australia

According to the cnbc