Is your country the happiest place to live on Earth?
Every year, The World Happiness Report, published by the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network, ranks 156 countries on the collective happiness levels of the people who live there. Factors that go into the happiness report include life expectancy, equality, and social support. This year, the report also measured and took into account the well-being of country’s immigrants.
For 2018, Finland was named the happiest country in the world, pushing last year's winner, Norway, into second place.
Nordic nations in particular usually score highly on the report, the Associated Press reported. Other Nordic nations amongst the top 10 are Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden. Meanwhile, the U.S. fell from 14th place to 18th place this year.
Meik Wiking, CEO of the Copenhagen-based Happiness Research Institute, told the AP that Nordic countries like Finland are “doing something right in terms of creating good conditions for good lives.” Despite paying some of the highest taxes in the world, “(Nordic countries) are good at converting wealth into well-being.”
While these countries have far fewer immigrants than others like the U.S., John Helliwell, a co-editor of the World Happiness Report, said that people who immigrate to happier countries are often happier as well, overall.
“The most striking finding of the report is the remarkable consistency between the happiness of immigrants and the locally born,” said Helliwell.