Denmark 'closer' to Finland but still second in 2024 World Happiness Report

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
Denmark 'closer' to Finland but still second in 2024 World Happiness Report
Denmark has again ranked as the world's second-happiest country. Photo by Thomas Peham on Unsplash

Denmark’s reputation as the ‘world’s second-happiest country’ has been bolstered by the latest edition of the UN's World Happiness Report, which again ranks the Scandinavian nation second behind Finland.


The UN’s World Happiness Report, published on Wednesday, puts Denmark second on its national happiness ranking.

Finland takes the title of world’s happiest nation, once closely associated with Denmark, for the seventh year in a row.

The Danish second place is the same as its 2022 and 2023 rankings and one spot better than in 2021.

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Denmark once took first place regularly, but this has not happened since 2016. Denmark was also second behind Finland in 2019.

However, Denmark is “now very close” to Finland, the report states, the two countries being separated by a smaller margin than last year.

Although Denmark came second to Finland overall, it is the world’s happiest country for people aged 60 or over, the 2024 edition concluded.


The United States fell out of the top 20 for the first time since the report began in 2012, getting a ranking of 23. The United Kingdom was 20th, Australia 10th and Ireland 17th.

Nordic neighbours Sweden and Norway were 4th and 7th respectively.

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The findings are drawn from Gallup World Poll data and analysed by leading wellbeing scientists, according to the World Happiness Report website.

Experts use responses from people in more than 140 nations to rank the world’s ‘happiest’ countries.

Rankings are based on a three-year average of each population’s average assessment of their quality of life.

The UN report then uses experts from a range of fields including economics, psychology and sociology to attempt to explain the variations across countries and over time using.

Factors such as GDP, life expectancy, having someone to count on, a sense of freedom, generosity and perceptions of corruption are among those considered in the final report.

“We found some pretty striking results. There is a great variety among countries in the relative happiness of the younger, older, and in-between populations. Hence the global happiness rankings are quite different for the young and the old, to an extent that has changed a lot over the last dozen years,” Professor John F. Helliwell, a founding editor of the World Happiness Report, said on the report’s website.


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