Ireland has been ranked as the 14th happiest country in the world for 2023 in the newly-released World Happiness Report

Ireland ranked ahead of 15th place United States and 19th place United Kingdom in the report, which is published by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Ireland fell one spot since last year's report.

The World Happiness Report is based on global survey data from people in more than 150 countries worldwide. A country's happiness is based on people's average life evaluations over the three years preceding the report. 

Elsewhere in the report, Ireland ranked in the 16th spot of the "Happiness gaps between the top and bottom halves of each country’s population."

Finland was ranked as the happiest country in the world overall for the sixth year in a row, scoring high in life expectancy, GDP per capita, social support, low corruption, and generosity. 

Its nordic neighbors Denmark and Iceland were ranked second and third respectively, with Israel and the Netherlands completing the top five. 

Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and New Zealand made up the top ten, with the United States ranking 15th and the UK ranking 19th. 

Although Ireland remains ahead of both the UK and the US, it has fallen one place since last year, dropping from 13th to 14th. 

War-torn Afghanistan and Lebanon remain the two unhappiest countries in the world, while Lithuania is the only new country in the top 20. 

Professor John F. Helliwell of the University of British Columbia, one of the editors of the report, said: “Average happiness and our country rankings, for emotions as well as life evaluations, have been remarkably stable during the three COVID-19 years.

“Changes in rankings that have taken place have been continuations of longer-term trends, such as the increases seen in the rankings of the three Baltic countries.

"Even during these difficult years, positive emotions have remained twice as prevalent as negative ones, and feelings of positive social support twice as strong as those of loneliness.”

Professor Lara B. Aknin, Director of the Helping and Happiness Lab of Simon Fraser University, added: “This year’s report features many interesting insights, but one that I find particularly interesting and heartening has to do with pro-sociality.

"For a second year, we see that various forms of everyday kindness, such as helping a stranger, donating to charity, and volunteering, are above pre-pandemic levels.

"Acts of kindness have been shown to both lead to and stem from greater happiness, which is the focus of Chapter 4.”