According to the European Statistical Office, Austria, Poland, and Romania were named the happiest countries in the European Union in 2022. Surprisingly, Germany ranked much lower on the list.
Every year, Eurostat, the official statistical agency of the European Union, measures the level of life satisfaction in all Member States. It might seem that progressive, tolerant and prosperous countries with developed economies would be the ones to make it to the podium. This year's results, however, may come as a surprise.
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Poland among the happiest EU countries
According to a recent survey, Austria, Poland, and Romania are the three happiest countries in the European Union. Interestingly, countries with low-income levels, such as Poland and Romania, rank second and third, respectively. Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic follow closely in the happiness rankings.
On the other hand, Bulgaria, Germany, and Greece were ranked as the most unhappy countries in Europe.
It is quite surprising to find Germany, one of the strongest economies among the 27 countries surveyed, near the bottom of the list. However, research data from the Rheingold Institute reveals that 20% of Germans experience "overwhelming anxiety", and 9% are classified as "uninterested and withdrawn.
What determines the happiness of Europeans?
Eurostat conducted research to investigate the European Union citizens' happiness level. The research collected data on income, living conditions, education level, and family structure. The study found that most EU citizens expressed satisfaction with their lives.
According to the researchers, those with a family and children tended to declare themselves the happiest, while those who ran single-person households were less satisfied. This trend is unique to Europe, as studies conducted in other continents show the opposite results.
The research also revealed that factors such as age and education level impact the happiness level. Most Member States showed that people aged 16-29 experienced higher life satisfaction than those aged 65 and over.