The US is far from being the world's happiest country

Finland has come out on top of an international index that ranks nations by how happy they are as places to live

Finland has come out on top of an international index that ranks nations by how happy they are as places to live

It was Finland that clinched first place, as Norway - last year's victor - went to second place.

The ten happiest countries in the world are also the ones in which immigrants are happy, according to the 2018 World Happiness Report released Wednesday.

Norway, last year's victor, came in second place in the 2018 report.

In the latest edition of the UN's World Happiness Report, Finland tops 155 other countries when it comes to well-being, as measured by metrics like income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity.

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.

Compared with a 2008-10 base period, 58 countries became significantly happier, and 59 became significantly less happy.

"A noteworthy finding is that Russia-born people in Israel evaluate their lives much more positively after migration but simultaneously experience adverse outcomes in terms of affect", the report explained.

"Those who move to happier countries gain, while those who move to less happy countries lose", added Helliwell.

Meanwhile, the USA slipped from 14th place in 2017 to 18th place this year. S. over the last half-century, the happiness index has been hit by weakened social support networks, a rise in perception of corruption in government and business and declining confidence in public institutions. The other top ten countries are Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia.


Nigeria is number 91 on the recently concluded World Happiness Report. The countries that round out the top five are Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland. In reaching No. 1, Finland nudged neighboring Norway into second place.

"US policymakers should take note".

Germany is 15th, three places ahead of the United States.

Sachs noted that the happiest countries have very different political philosophies from the United States'.

"The closeness of the two rankings shows that the happiness of immigrants depends predominantly on the quality of life where they now live", the report's executive summary said.

According to the report, the life span of Israelis also increased by 3.1 years between 2000 and 2015, from 69.7 to 72.8.

This year's survey was also the first to assess the happiness of immigrants in each of the countries.

The report also analyzes areas that pose a unsafe threat to quality of life, focusing specifically on three health problems within its penultimate chapters: obesity, the opioid crisis and depression, all problems that are especially acute within the USA, which tumbled four spots to the 18th place on 2018's list.

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