These four countries are the happiest in the European Union

european union flag

(Sara Kurfeß, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.Author: Johnny Wood, Senior Writer, Formative Content

  • Eurostat survey shows Europeans are happier than five years ago
  • Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria are the happiest EU nations
  • Spain has the highest share of people who claim to be happy all the time
  • Latvia, Bulgaria and Croatia are at the bottom of the EU’s happiness table

Are you happy? If so, are you happier than you were five years ago?

If you live in Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands or Austria, the answer to these questions is more than likely “yes”, according to a recent survey.

Despite the rise of populism, immigration issues, protests and political discord across large parts of the continent, Europeans are 2% happier now than they were in 2013.


Graph shows happiness levels by country
Glass more than half-full
Image: Eurostat

A Eurostat survey of 25 EU countries in 2018 found almost half of Europeans aged 16 or over felt happy most of the time, while 14% declared themselves permanently happy.

Respondents were asked to rank how frequently they felt happy in the four weeks preceding the survey, using five categories ranging from “all of the time” to “none of the time”.

Frequency of being happy across the EU, 2018
Something to smile about
Image: Eurostat

Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria shared first place as the happiest EU nations, each with more than three-quarters of the population expressing happiness either some or all of the time.

Spain was slightly below these leading countries for overall happiness, but 29% of the population claimed to be happy all the time, the highest of any nation in the survey.

At the other end of the scale was Latvia, where less than a third of the population claimed to feel happy either all or most of the time. Around 28% of Latvians reported rarely or never feeling happy in the four weeks leading up to the survey.

At the bottom of the list, after Latvia, were Bulgaria and Croatia.

People in all but three of the countries included in the research – Lithuania, Sweden and the Netherlands – felt their lives were happier now than during the previous survey in 2013.










the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Uganda’s Ebola preparedness ‘will go a long way’ says WHO chief

Brexit kick-off: a historic day for the EU anticlockwise

Future EU farm policy: Agriculture MEPs urge fair funding, no renationalisation

US-China trade war: Washington now wants control of the renminbi-yuan

From DIY editing to matchmaking by DNA: how human genomics is changing society

‘Massive and protracted’ humanitarian crisis in DR Congo can be ‘beaten back’ if donors step up

Illegal fishing plagues the Pacific Ocean. Here’s how to end it

Food safety: more transparency, better risk prevention

What little Cameron got in Brussels seems enough to keep Britain in the EU

COP25: UN climate change conference, 5 things you need to know

Let Nagasaki remain ‘the last city’ to suffer nuclear devastation says museum director, as UN chief arrives

Compensation for damages by the State for infringement of EU law: the European Commission refers Spain to the Court of Justice for its rules on the compensation for damages incurred by private parties

The Commission tells Berlin it is legally obliged to help Eurozone out of stagnation

China is adding a London-sized electric bus fleet every five weeks

‘Mosques should be safe havens, not sites of terror’, says Guterres announcing UN plan to help safeguard religious sites

Can climate change wait for the US to rejoin the Paris agreement?

Eurozone again whipped by Greek winds

Main results of EU-Japan summit which took place on 25/04/2019 in Brussels

Food system failures in our age of abundance

Entrepreneurship and strategic planning: the enabler

The Commission accused of tolerating corruption and fraud in taxation

Global Leaders Take The Stage At MWC Shanghai 2019, in association with The European Sting

Online government services could change your life. But only if you have access to the internet

Families deserve answers when loved ones go missing in conflict: Security Council adopts historic resolution

UN chief welcomes announcement by Emir of Qatar to allocate $50 million to support Syrian refugees, displaced persons

Europe must remember its past to build its future

COP21 Breaking News_04 December: Building a Sustainable Future – speech by UNEP Deputy Executive Director Ibrahim Thiaw at the LPAA Thematic Event on Buildings

TTIP is not dead as of yet, the 15th round of negotiations in New York shouts

European Commission recommends to the European Council (Article 50) to find that decisive progress has been made in Brexit negotiations

Economy and living standards of Gaza ‘eviscerated’ by crippling blockade – UN trade and development report

Monday’s Daily Brief: WFP mulls ‘last resort’ Yemen aid suspension, top peacekeeping awardee announced, abuzz over Bee Day, Ebola threat ‘very high’

Young? You should work out the entrepreneurial heart before the mind

Destabilizing Lebanon after burning Syria; plotting putsch at home: King and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

TTIP: why it is worth not to pull the covers over your head?

270 million people are migrants, who send home a staggering $689 billion

Better training ‘a necessary and strategic investment’ in peacekeeping that saves lives: Guterres

Two States ‘side-by-side’ is the ‘peaceful and just solution’ for Israel-Palestine conflict: Guterres

Further reforms will promote a stronger and more inclusive Hungarian economy

“CETA is a game changer for major trade agreements”. The Sting reports live from EBS 2015

EU-Turkey relations: Will Turkey manage to revive the EU accession process talks?

Diana in Vietnam

We can’t tell if we’re closing the digital divide without more data

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Europe’s children urge leaders to commit to climate action at UN Climate Summit in Paris

Federalist EU ‘naively’ believes Washington shares her TTIP high fever

COP21 Breaking News_08 December: Cities & Regions Launch Major Five-Year Vision to Take Action on Climate Change

May threatens the EU with a wild Brexit indifferent to Scotland, Northern Ireland and the City

UN Security Council offers Yemen Special Envoy ‘their full support’

Amazon sinks while our breath sinks

Why the world needs systems leadership, not selfish leadership

Companies have a new skill to master – innovation

Young students envision turning Europe into an Entrepreneurial Society

Trade negotiations with US can start under certain conditions

Monday’s Daily Brief: the cost of maternal healthcare, Sudan and Chad updates, sustainability in focus

Despite progress, companies face gender equality ‘backlash’: UN business body

Europe must regain its place as world leader in digital technology

‘Still time’ to stop a ‘bloody battle’ for Libya’s capital, insists Guterres

‘Eco-shaming’ is on the rise, but does it work?

EU budget: Commission helps prepare new Cohesion programmes with Regional Competitiveness Index and Eurobarometer

How drones can manage the food supply chain and tell you if what you eat is sustainable

Humanitarian visas to avoid refugees’ deaths

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s