The happiest people in the Baltics live in Estonia

Posted on 15 May 2024, 15:10

The results of the Estonian Social Survey show that Estonian people are happier than Latvians and Lithuanians but not nearly as happy as the residents of Finland and Sweden. How happy are people in Estonia compared with other European countries? Here is an overview by Anet Müürsoo, Head of Population and Social Statistics Department at Statistics Estonia.

“The Estonian Social Survey asked respondents to assess how often they had felt happy during the previous four weeks. It appears that, in general, Europeans are happy, since 64% of the respondents across Europe feel happy always or most of the time,” explained Müürsoo. On the other hand, the share of those who are happy rarely or never is less than a tenth (8.6%). “About a quarter of Europeans (25.8%) feel happy some of the time,” she said

The European countries with the happiest people 

In Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Netherlands, more than three quarters of the population feel happy all or most of the time. “Among the Baltic countries, Estonia has the happiest people – half of the Estonian population (50.1%) are happy always or most of the time, about a third (35.3%) feel happy sometimes, about a tenth (11.3%) are rarely happy, and 3.3% are never happy,” said Müürsoo.

She noted that, in Lithuania, 48.1% of the people are happy always or most of the time, 32.3% are happy sometimes, 9.2% are rarely happy, and 2.5% are never happy. In Latvia, about 36.8% of the population are happy all or most of the time, a slightly bigger share – 38.4% – feel happy some of the time, 16.6% rarely feel happy, and 6.4% are never happy.

Finland and Sweden are far ahead 

“However, compared with our Nordic neighbours Finland and Sweden, the people in Estonia are not as happy. As much as 74% of Finnish people and 69.3% of the Swedish population are happy always or most of the time,” said Müürsoo. She added that 19.4% and 23.8% of the population in Finland and Sweden, respectively, feel happy sometimes, 5.4% and 6.1% rarely feel happy, and 0.8% and 0.9% never feel happy.

*The map is based on Eurostat data. Persons answering ‘always’ or ‘most of the time’ have been combined into a single group.

The European Survey on Income and Living Conditions is conducted in all European Union countries. In Estonia, it is called the Estonian Social Survey, with the Ministry of Social Affairs being the main representative of public interest. The data are also submitted to the European Commission and to Eurostat. The collection of data with the Estonian Social Survey 2022 was co-financed by the European Union. 

The Estonian Social Survey 2024 takes place until 19 May 2024. If you have been invited to participate, please find the time to complete the questionnaire.

When using Statistics Estonia’s data and graphs, please indicate the source.

For further information:

Heidi Kukk
Media Relations Manager
Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9181
press [at] (press[at]stat[dot]ee)