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Countries With the Largest Happiness Gains Since 2010

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In 2011, Bhutan sponsored a UN resolution that invited governments to prioritize happiness and well-being as a way to measure social and economic development.

And thus, the World Happiness Report was born.

In 2012, the first report released, examining Gallup poll data from 2006–2010 that asked respondents in nearly every country to evaluate their life on a 0–10 scale. From this they extrapolated a single “happiness score” out of 10 to compare how happy countries are.

More than a decade later, the 2024 World Happiness Report continues the mission to quantify, measure, and compare well-being. Its latest findings also include how countries have become happier in the intervening years.

We visualize these findings in the above chart, which shows the 20 countries that have seen their happiness scores grow the most since 2010.

Which Countries Have Become Happier Since 2010?

Serbia leads a list of 12 Eastern European nations whose average happiness score has improved more than 20% in the last decade.

In the same time period, the Serbian economy has doubled to $80 billion, and its per capita GDP has nearly doubled to $9,538 in current dollar terms.

RankCountryHappiness Score
Gains (2010–2024)2024 Happiness
Score (out of 10)

1 Serbia+1.86.4

2 Bulgaria+1.65.5

3 Latvia+1.56.2

4 Congo+1.45.2

5 Romania+1.36.5

6 China+1.36.0

7 Georgia+1.35.2

8 Lithuania+1.26.8

9 Philippines+1.26.0

10 Togo+1.24.2

11 Nicaragua+1.26.3

12 Kosovo+1.16.6

13 Mongolia+1.15.7

14 Estonia+1.16.4

15 Hungary+1.16.0

16 Bosnia &

17 North Macedonia+1.05.4

18 Armenia+1.05.5

19 Uzbekistan+1.06.2

20 Kyrgyzstan+1.05.7

N/A World+0.15.5

Since the first report, Western Europe has on average been happier than Eastern Europe. But as seen with these happiness gains, Eastern Europe is now seeing their happiness levels converge closer to their Western counterparts. In fact, when looking at those under the age of 30, the most recent happiness scores are nearly the same across the continent.

All in all, 20 countries have increased their happiness score by a full point or more since 2010, on the 0–10 scale.

The post Countries With the Largest Happiness Gains Since 2010 appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

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