The world’s happiest countries are bright and sunny, tropical and temperate.
Right ? Wrong!
Finland tops the list of the “happiest” in the 2018 World Happiness Report, which ranks 156 countries, produced by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Only two of the top 10 – Australia (# 10) and New Zealand (#8) in the southern hemisphere – offer climatic freedom from dark days, lengthy freezing temperatures, and significant snow accumulations.The so-called “Nordics” (Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland) seem to dominate the top tier year after year. Executive summary
Here are the “happiest countries” ranked 1 to 10:
# 1 Finland # 2 Norway #3 Denmark # 4 Iceland # 5 Switzerland
# 6 Netherlands # 7 Canada # 8 New Zealand # 9 Sweden # 10 Australia
“The top countries frequently have high values for all six of the key variables that contribute to overall well-being: income (GDP per capita), healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust (absence of corruption) and generosity.”
The report, now in its sixth year, ranks the U.S. at 18 (down four places from last year), Great Britain at 19, and the United Arab Emirates at 20. The data are from the Gallup World Poll , with analysis by economists at Columbia University, University of British Columbia, and London School of Economics. Check out the full list and details in the 170-page report.
John Helliwell, a co-editor of the report from University of British Columbia economist told the Washington Post, “the extent to which happiness of immigrants matches the locally born population….The happiest countries in the world also have the happiest immigrants in the world.”