The happiest countries in Europe - Where does Greece stand?

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New figures from the EU's statistics office rank Austrians as the most "satisfied with their lives" in Europe in the 27-member bloc. Poland, Finland and Romania are also in high positions. As far as Greece is concerned, in this category, it is quite low, occupying the third place from the end in the "old continent".

In particular, Austria scored a total of 7.9 out of 10 in Eurostat's annual publication of "quality of life indicators", which is based on surveys carried out in all member states. At the other end of the scale, Germany is officially second from the bottom of the rankings, only surpassed by Bulgaria. Third, from the end, Greece has a slightly higher score than Germany. Specifically, Greece fell from 7.1 to 6.7 while Cyprus rose to 7.2 from 7.1.

In fact, Bulgaria was the only country out of 27 surveyed to score below six out of ten overall for overall life satisfaction in 2022. Every year, Eurostat, the bloc's official statistics agency, measures how happy a sample of the population in each member state declares their lifetime.

This scale ranges from zero (absolute dissatisfaction) to ten, meaning things could not be better. It also investigates how optimistic respondents are about the future or, as the case may be, how pessimistic they are. At the same time, one might assume that the wealthier the country, the happier the people; this is not the case across the board.

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The decline of Germany

While Germany has one of the strongest economies among the 27 countries, the happiness figures are impressive. In 2021, it reached a rating of 7.1.

The latest figures show it has fallen to 6.5. While simple statistics cannot explain why people are so much less happy than last year, they show a growing darkening of the collective German mood.

Another German organisation, the Cologne-based Rheingold Institute, combines polls with interviews. In a study published last week, they found that people "overwhelmed with anxiety" made up 20% and a further 9% were described as "apathetic and aloof".

What makes the happiest nations happy

Austria has topped the table before. They gave their happiness levels an average score of 8. Austria is an affluent country, so this may not come as a surprise.

In Romania and Poland, however, two rather poorer nations, life satisfaction is at the higher end of the scale, suggesting that more money does not necessarily equate to more happiness. Instead, it appears that factors such as age, education level, family and financial status could be more indicative of overall satisfaction than wealth.

Despite the much-reported struggles of Millennials and Gen Z, most Member States showed that 16- to 29-year-olds showed higher life satisfaction compared to over-65s.

The opposite pattern was observed only in Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Finland. Financial security manifests itself to some extent in the data, but not how you would expect.

Life satisfaction depends on the individual's level of education, which, to some extent, reflects income levels. In all Member States, life satisfaction increased in parallel with the level of education.

Slovakia had the biggest rise, with a difference of about 1.6 points between people with tertiary education and those with primary (less than secondary) education.

Place of residence also matters, although these findings are much more divided. In Malta, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark and Luxembourg, rural residents reported being slightly happier by 0.2 points or more.

READ MORE: The AMAZING photos of newlyweds in the empty streets of Athens.

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