Report: Canada is the 2nd happiest country among the G7

Vimal Sivakumar
Published: April 1, 2024

According to the 2024 World Happiness Report (WHR), Canada trails only countries in the European Union (EU) concerning overall happiness among all surveyed age groups.

The World Happiness Report is an annual publication crafted in partnership between Gallup, the Wellbeing Research Centre at the University of Oxford (United Kingdom, UK), the United Nations’ (UN’s) Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the WHR’s Editorial Board.

Based on “a three-year average” of what the WHR calls “life evaluations”, the 2024 version of this report assesses the happiness of people in more than 140 countries “during different life stages and of those in different generations.” This is on top of including an overall happiness ranking for all ages in each country.

Note: The WHR says that life evaluations are based on responses to the Gallup World Poll, which “asks respondents to evaluate their current life as a whole using the image of a ladder, with the best possible life for them as a 10 and [the] worst possible as a 0.”

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Specifically, in addition to its overall rankings, the report divides each country’s population into these four groups:

  • The Young: Under 30 years old
  • Lower Middle: 30 – 44 years old
  • Upper Middle: 45 – 59 years old
  • The Old: 60 years old and above

Where does Canada rank among the G7?

As defined by Global Affairs Canada, the G7, or Group of Seven, is “a grouping of seven of the world’s advanced economies.” This group of countries includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, the United States (US) and the EU.

Overall rankings

In terms of overall happiness (of all ages), Canada ranks 2nd among all G7 nations in the WHR 2024.

Trailing only some countries in the EU – Finland (1), Denmark (2), Sweden (4), Netherlands (6), Luxembourg (8) and Austria (14) – Canada (15) ranked higher than all other G7 nations in overall happiness:

  • UK: 20th in overall happiness
  • US: 23th in overall happiness
  • Germany: 24th in overall happiness
  • France: 27th in overall happiness
  • Italy: 41st in overall happiness
  • Japan: 51st in overall happiness

Rankings by age group

Among the G7, here is where Canada ranked in each of the age groups/generations noted above:

The Young: Under 30 years old

In this age group, Canada ranked 5th of 7, ahead of only the US and Japan.

Lower Middle: 30 to 44 years old

In this age group, Canada ranked 4th of 7, ahead of Italy, the US and Japan.

Upper Middle: 45 to 59 years old

In this age group, Canada ranked 2nd of 7, behind only some countries in the EU (Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands and Luxembourg).

The Old: 60 years old and above

In this age group, Canada again ranked 2nd of 7. Once again, Canada trailed only some countries in the EU (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Netherlands) in this category.

How Canada’s WHR 2024 ranking compares with its 2023 U.S. News ranking

Although different publications use different methodologies and factors to rank countries, Canada’s place among the happiest countries in the G7 according to the WHR 2024 coincides with its ranking as the 2nd best country in the world overall according to the U.S. News’ Best Countries ranking for 2023.

Last year’s U.S. News ranking placed Canada behind only Switzerland in the overall standings. Additionally, U.S. News ranked Canada in the top seven countries (of 87 total) for nearly half of its 10 subcategories. Specifically, Canada ranked:

  • 2nd for Agility*
  • 2nd for starting a career
  • 2nd for racial equality
  • 3rd for Quality of Life
  • 4th for Social Purpose**
  • 4th for education
  • 6th for women
  • 6th for pursuing a comfortable retirement
  • 6th in terms of most transparent countries
  • 7th for studying abroad
  • 7th for raising kids

*U.S. News says that agility is about a country’s ability to adapt and respond to obstacles, adding that “these countries are seen as the most adaptable to change.”

**U.S. News describes social purpose as “the ability of a country’s citizens to rally around certain causes they feel strongly about. These countries are seen as being the most progressive, inclusive and committed to social justice.”

More: Where Canada ranked in U.S. News’ Best Countries ranking for 2023

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