The Netherlands is the 5th happiest country in the world!

Today is the International Day of Happiness, and we all have something in our lives to be happy about: The Netherlands is the 5th happiest country in the world. The country made on to the top 5 of the UN happiness report of 150 countries around the world! 

What factors are they looking at?

The UN happiness report looks at six factors: GDP, life expectancy, social satisfaction, generosity, freedom and support. These include things like healthcare, government satisfaction, corruption and so on.

This year, they also looked at how social media and digital technology in general affects the happiness of people. They look at particularly the United States, which ranked in the 19th position. Essentially, it looks at how happiness can be measured by how people interact with each other over social media, and how connected they feel.

And the best part? The Netherlands was on the list last year as well, but on the 6th position. The country has moved up one spot. Looks like a lot can happen in one year, huh?

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Who beat the Netherlands?

Looks like Finland takes the cake again coming in at first position, followed by Norway, Denmark, and Iceland. Switzerland and the Netherlands switched positions where the former was in the 5th position last year. The countries up north are not doing too bad! They occupied the top positions last year as well, and seem to be doing pretty well for themselves this year too!

Looks like not having a cross in the flag did not keep the Netherlands back 😉

The Top 10

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

Can you really measure happiness in this way, though? What do you think about the Netherlands coming in the 5th position? Should it be higher or lower? Let us know in the comments!

Feat Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay 
GIF Source: Giphy

Kavana Desai
Kavana Desai
Coping with the aftermath of her 3-year stint in the Netherlands, Kavana is a writer, content creator and editor for DutchReview. Hailing from India, she frequently blogs about the Netherlands, being Indian in the Netherlands, and everything in between. She envisions herself to one day be the youngest person to win that Nobel Prize for Literature (she is also not very humble but welcomes only constructive criticism). In the meantime, she fills her days with writing for DutchReview, writing her master's thesis on art theft, and writing fiction that will hopefully see the light of day soon.


  1. The Netherlands one of the happiest countries I don’t think so.

    Let me tell you about the problems we have as I life for more than 38 years in the Netherlands.

    First, we have a shortage in affordable houses for single middle-class persons.
    In Amsterdam the cheapest houses you can buy are around 200.000 euro’s this is not affordable for a single middle classes person they don’t earn enough for this.
    Renting is also a problem because social housing has a waiting list for more than 15 years.
    Private housing has a rent of 1000 euro’s each month this is only rent no gas, water and electricity if you add this up it means that you must pay more than half your salary for this.

    Second social health care.
    Each year they increase the prices for this.
    I myself pay around 140 euros per month premium and I have an own risk of 250 euro’s this mean that if the price goes above 250 euro’s I must pay this extra amount.

    Medicine shortage because the pharmacy sells the A class medicines to other countries that bid higher.
    People here get the B class medicines which gives lots of problems.

    Third Pension.
    People that get pension here will get less each year.
    The reason for this is that pension companies use the money they get from the people in investment funds to earn more but this didn’t go well and instead of winning they lost a lot that is why people that get pension will get less and less each year.
    The government tell us it’s because we have a lot of people that are older compared to younger people this is only partial the truth.

    Fourth teacher shortage.
    We don’t have enough teachers for the schools here.
    The teachers that are here strike a lot because of the work pressure they have and the low salary they earn.

    Fifth Retirement homes.
    We don’t have enough of these too so old people have to stay at home longer in houses that aren’t fit for this.
    Because we also have a shortage of nursing staff the family must take care of the parents this is very hard if you have a full-time job and many people get a burnout of this.

    These are a few problems we have.

    Organization is something that my country doesn’t know every year in winter we have problems with the trains because the tracks are frozen, and they cannot drive.
    I think by myself why has Sweden never have these problems because they organize things better then in my country.

    We also bought a few F-35 fighter jets.
    I think for what my country is too small to attack, no it’s to please the other countries look, look the Netherlands will help you.
    The government is the butt kisser of the European Union and we the people are the victim of the tax increases that we pay to increase the government fund.


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