Berlin named one of the happiest cities in the world

Berlin named one of the happiest cities in the world

Three cities in Germany have been rated among the happiest in the world by the 2024 Happy City Index. While Berlin fared the best in the ranking, some other German cities were also singled out for praise. 

The Happy City Index 2024

Happiness might be hard to define and quantify, but the Happy City Index says that you can pinpoint which cities are most committed to happiness cultivation and growth. Each year it sets out to reveal the 250 happiest cities on the planet. Based on “thousands of indicators carefully developed by our researchers and directly linked to the quality of life and the feeling of happiness of its residents”, the 2024 report rated each city through the following main categories:

  • Citizens: Quality of the education system, digital competency, friendliness and social inclusion.
  • Governance: Participation of residents in political processes, transparency of government, quality of digital services and policies dedicated to improving quality of life.
  • Environment: Management of natural resources, waste, sewage, green space and air pollution.
  • Economy: Gross domestic product, productivity, innovation and cities' attractiveness to international companies and creative industries.
  • Mobility: Quality of public transport and international links, e-payment systems and safety.

24 different secondary criteria were used to score each city across the main categories, with a combined score used to place each city on the ranking. For 2024, 36 cities were given a gold standard for happiness, with Aarhus in Denmark placing first thanks to its exceptional scores in all but the mobility category. The largest city in Switzerland, Zurich took second place in the happiness ranking.

Berlin the third-happiest city in the world

For 2024, Berlin was rated the third happiest city in the world, garnering good scores across all the categories and especially standing out when it came to environment, economy and mobility. It was joined in the top 10 by Munich, which also achieved the gold standard status with high scores in the citizens and mobility categories. The gold standard was also bestowed on Cologne, which ranked 26th overall. 

Other German cities named in the report included the silver-rated cities of Dresden (ranked 51st) and Leipzig (ranked 77th) and the bronze-rated Düsseldorf (ranked 103rd), Stuttgart (ranked 125th), Hamburg (ranked 149th) and Frankfurt (ranked 171st).

10 happiest cities worldwide

The top 10 happiest cities in the world, according to the Happy City Index, are as follows: 

  1. Aarhus, Denmark
  2. Zurich, Switzerland
  3. Berlin, Germany
  4. Gothenburg, Sweden
  5. Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  6. Helsinki, Finland
  7. Bristol, United Kingdom
  8. Copenhagen, Denmark
  9. Geneva, Switzerland
  10. Munich, Germany

For more information about how the study was conducted, check out the official website.



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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