Finland ranked happiest country in the world, says United Nations report

Posted March 16, 2018

Meik Wiking, chief executive of the Happiness Research Institute, an independent think tank based in Copenhagen, said the high-ranking Nordic countries "are doing something right in terms of creating good conditions for good lives". Among the top 10 countries included were Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia.

Meanwhile, the United States slipped from 14th place in 2017 to 18th place this year.

The country has been ranked 115th among 156 countries surveyed for the report while Sri Lanka and India came in at 116 and 133.

Finland, rose from fifth place past year to oust Norway from the top spot. Even as India's growth story is intact, the people in the country, it appears, are getting unhappier by the year, while their not so prosperous terrorist-hit neighbours in Pakistan are becoming happier, shows the latest United Nations ranking of the world's happiest countries. As it turns out, in general, the happiest nations also have the happiest immigrants - Finland, Norway and Denmark also top this list.

The report declares Finland the world's happiest country. Within the report, Israel ranked 12th in the "happiness for the foreign-born", meaning immigrants.

Unlike previous years, the report also took into consideration the happiness and well-being of immigrants in 117 countries, with Finland also taking first place and Taiwan finishing 38th.

"The most striking finding of the report is the remarkable consistency between the happiness of immigrants and the locally born", said co-editor Professor John Helliwell of the University of British Columbia, Canada in a statement. "A more tolerant attitude in the host country will prove best for migrants and for the original residents", the report said. Singapore is ranked as the 34 happiest country, just below Saudi Arabia, and the next SE Asian country is Thailand on the 46 spot. "So, yes, we have the flawless circumstances to have a happy life here in Finland", she told the Associated Press. "The US happiness ranking is falling, in part because of the ongoing epidemics of obesity, substance abuse and untreated depression", the report stated.

United Nations also examined the happiness levels of immigrants in each country, and found Finland also scored highest, Ukraine - the 92 of 117 possible. It considers GDP per capita, social support, social freedom, absence of corruption, healthy life expectancy and generosity while preparing the report.