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The Top 20 Happiest Countries In The World According To The World Happiness Report

USA Today - The 2024 World Happiness Report, a list of the happiest countries in the world, has been released today on International Day of Happiness. And spoiler alert, the United States isn't at the top.

For the first time since the World Happiness Report was first released 12 years ago, the US isn't ranked in the world's top 20 happiest countries. It sits at No. 23, the United Arab Emirates is ranked at 22 and Slovenia at 21.

I've long been a sucker for lists on the internet. There's something about a list that always gets the people going. In a matter of seconds, a good (or better yet bad) list has to power to turn otherwise reasonable humans into an angry Charlottesville-style torch carrying internet mob. In a matter of moments, a grown adult will go from casually scrolling Reddit on his lunch-break, to crafting a 300+ word slur-heavy tweet eviscerating Cocoa Puffs because some 8th grader on Twitter had the gall to rank them ahead of Wheaties. Before you even realize what's happening, an internet list will have you sending threatening emails to the employer of a complete stranger who runs a 1.6K follower Katt Williams parody account. Lists are what make the internet simultaneously the best and worst place an earth

Note: speaking of Katt Williams I saw this Theo Von clip on TikTok today that made me laugh out loud and I wanted to share it with you.

"That's a damn Katt Williams right there"

So in classic internet tradition, I'm going to spend some time getting angry about a list. And what better list to get mad about than USA Today's most recent article detailing the World Happiness Report's list of "happiest countries". 

First things first, how dare the USA Today report on a happiness list that leaves out the USA. It's one thing if the Daily Mail wants to tell me I don't live in one of the happiest countries in the world. I expect that from the Brit's over at the Daily Mail. They think happiness is eating dry cookies out of tin containers and harassing Royal Family members. Plus, they're all still mad about the Revolutionary War. But the USA Today? How dare they acknowledge this. I have half a mind to track down this Julia Gomez columnist and scream the Pledge of Allegiance in her stupid America-hating face for even presenting me with this highly offensive list created by the "wOrLd HaPpiNesS rEpoRt". 

What the fuck does World Happiness Report know about happiness. Let's take a look at what countries are supposedly "happier" than we are.

According to the World Happiness Report, the following are the happiest countries:

Finland

Denmark

Iceland

Sweden

Israel

Netherlands

Norway

Luxembourg

Switzerland

Australia

New Zealand

Costa Rica

Kuwait

Austria

Canada

Belgium

Ireland

Czechia

Lithuania

United Kingdom

Now I'm not an unreasonable person. I don't expect the United States to be ranked ahead of the Scandinavian countries. Everybody knows that Scandinavia is the happiest place in the world. There are no problems in Scandinavia. They have free healthcare that I'm told causes zero problems for tax-payers. Tall, blonde supermodels with sing-songy accents make up 90% of the female population. They have beautiful ski resorts, hockey, Dolph Lundgren, the Swedish Chef from Sesame Street. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that? I have no qualms with Scandinavia topping the list.

I'm going to respectfully opt out of commenting on Israel. I can personally think of a a reason or two they might not be a top 5 happiest place on earth right now. But I won't be getting political today. I will say, bar mitzvah's look like they'd be a delight. I've always wanted to lifted up in a chair while my family and friends football-spike glassware on the hard floor. 

After Israel is when they lose me. I refuse to concede Australia and New Zealand are happier places than us. Everyone knows Australia is made up of the ancestors of British prisoners who were banished to the bottom of the world in the late 1700's. And New Zealand's idea of good entertainment is grown men on steroids performing choreographed dances ahead of athletic challenges, and fighting kangaroos in the front yard. That sounds more like a fever dream than a "happy time". Also people from New Zealand are called "Kiwi's". Apparently that's not offensive, but it really sounds like it should be. 

I took a trip to Costa Rica with my family when I was in college. It was fantastic for a vacation. I got to hike around the rainforest, I saw monkeys, we stayed at a nice resort for a week. It was all very fun and happy. But all I heard about the whole time was how dangerous the city was. We were supposed to be sooo careful every time we left the resort. Also, the car we rented was the worst smelling vehicle I've ever rode in. I wanted to puke every time we drove anywhere. And the roads in the mountains were all unpaved and bumpy. That's no way to live. 

I know some people who went to Kuwait in the early 90's, and trust me, they did NOT have a happy time. 

Austria is responsible for Hitler, so that should automatically ban them from the list.

As Americans we're raised to believe Canada is America's super friendly hat. It's supposed to be a delightful place full of hockey and poutine. However, their entire country has been on fire for the last 5 years. At one point not that long ago the New York City sky was covered in a dark cloud of smoke because Canada couldn't keep their burning trees to themselves. There's nothing happy about that.

Every picture I see of Ireland kind looks depressing. The sky is permanently grey. And you simply can't put Ireland over America when every person there with the means to immigrate chose to move here a long long time ago. What about the potato famine? Frank Fleming's great great great great grandpa Seamus Fleming moved to Ireland the day of the potato famine. One day everything was fine, the next day Seamus Fleming shows up and BOOM! - big time famine. Ask him how fun that was.

Idk when Czech Republic turned into Czechia, but if your country just went through a whole ass name change I have to assume you have some problems.

Lithuania isn't a place I think about ever. All I know about them is that their basketball team is better than you'd think. Jonas Valanciunas is from there. That's something l I guess. But have you ever heard of LeBron James, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson? That's what I thought.

And of course the United Kingdom sneaks in at the 20 spot. I know they're all going through it right now because the Princess of Wales just publicly announced her cancer diagnosis. But I refuse to concede the UK is happier than us. If my country beat you in a war you don't get to be happier than me.

Terrible list overall. I didn't care of it. But to be fair, when you're making a list, it doesn't matter if it's "good" or if it's "based in fact". All that matters is that people have opinions on it. The more upsetting the list the better. Just ask Chris Simms. He's made a career off of it.