What makes people happy? To answer that question, it would be very helpful to know which societies actually consider themselves significantly happier than others—and, since 2012, this is as easy as consulting the latest edition of the World Happiness Report, now published annually in New York by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

In 2019 (summing up data and surveys from 2016–18), Finland was the world’s happiest country for the second time in a row, followed by Denmark, Norway, and Iceland; the Netherlands and Switzerland came just ahead of Sweden, which means that the Nordic nations took five of the top seven spots. The top 10 were rounded out by New Zealand, Canada, and Austria. The second group of 10 started with Australia and ended with the Czech Republic: the UK was number 15, Germany number 17, and the US squeezed in at number 19.