The World Happiness Report 2023 places Finland as the happiest nation in the world for the sixth consecutive year, while Thailand has climbed one spot to rank 60th.

The Sustainable Development Solutions Network issued the research on March 20 in time for the International Day of Happiness. On a scale of zero to 10, with zero denoting total unhappiness and ten denoting total contentment, participants from each nation ranked their level of happiness.

Six key factors

The World Happiness Report research uses six important variables—social support, wealth, health, independence, generosity, and the absence of corruption—to help explain differences in self-reported levels of happiness around the world.

Governments are increasingly using this analysis to orient policies towards happiness.

One of the significant initiatives undertaken by the government is the creation of the National Happiness Index. The index was launched in 2019 and aims to measure the well-being of the Thai people by analyzing various factors such as income, health, education, and social connections. The index has helped the government to identify areas where improvements are needed and implement policies that will promote happiness and well-being.

Another initiative that has contributed to Thailand’s improved ranking is the implementation of universal health coverage. The government has made significant investments in the health sector, ensuring that every citizen has access to affordable and quality healthcare. This has not only improved the overall health of the population but also increased their life expectancy, which is a key factor in the World Happiness Report.

Thailand is the third happiest country in Southeast Asia

Thailand scored 5.843, making it the third happiest country in Southeast Asia, behind Singapore (6.587) and Malaysia (6.012). When analyzed by sub-factors, Thailand’s lowest score was in the perception of corruption category (0.013), followed by generosity (0.291), healthy life expectancy (0.461), freedom to make life choices (0.624), social support (1.344), and GDP per capita (1.515).

Thailand has also made progress in reducing poverty and improving social support. The government has implemented various programs to provide financial support to vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, disabled, and low-income families. This has not only helped to reduce poverty but has also improved social cohesion and support, which are essential factors in promoting happiness.

Finland remains in the top position for the sixth year in a row. Lithuania is the only new country in the top twenty, up more than 30 places since 2017. War-torn Afghanistan and Lebanon remain the two unhappiest countries in the survey, with average life evaluations more than five points lower (on a scale running from 0 to 10) than in the ten happiest countries.

The top ten countries are ordered:

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

The World Happiness Report is a publication of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, powered by the Gallup World Poll data. The World Happiness Report reflects a worldwide demand for more attention to happiness and well-being as criteria for government policy. It reviews the state of happiness in the world today and shows how the science of happiness explains personal and national variations in happiness.

About the author

Bangkok Correspondent at Siam News Network

Bangkok Correspondent for Siam News Network. Editor at Thailand Business News

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