The report ranked 156 countries according to factors such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.
The list is then followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia to make up the top ten in the report. Of the 141 countries that had enough data from both 2008-10 and 2015-17 to measure how their happiness had changed, the United States ranked 107th, with a drop of 0.315 in its average happiness rating.
The 2018 report was released Wednesday, March 14th ahead of the U.N.'s International Day of Happiness, 20th March. "The U.S. happiness ranking is falling, in part because of the ongoing epidemics of obesity, substance abuse, and untreated depression".
Perhaps the most striking finding of the whole report is that a ranking of countries according to the happiness of their immigrant populations is nearly exactly the same as for the rest of the population.
While it's no surprise that the Scandinavian countries have yet again come out on top, it's always interesting to see in what order they fall.
"Governments are increasingly using indicators of happiness to inform their policy-making decisions", said economics professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of Columbia University's Center for Sustainable Development and report co-editor. Finland is at the top of both rankings in this report, with the happiest immigrants, and the happiest population in general.
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In 2017, Nigeria ranked 95th on the index.
Wiking explained that while people in Nordic nations pay some of the highest taxes in the world, that price is well worth it for the levels of personal freedom and social security their countries give them.
The 2018 survey also includes results from polling in 117 countries regarding the happiness of immigrants in their new countries.
"Briefly put, (Nordic countries) are good at converting wealth into well-being", Wiking said, according to the Daily Mail. Although set in a global context, most of the evidence and discussion are focused on the United States, where the prevalence of all three problems has been growing faster and further than in most other countries. S.: "more inequality, less trust, less confidence in government", the head of the SDSN, Prof.
"The most striking finding of the report is the remarkable consistency between the happiness of immigrants and the locally born", Helliwell told the Reuters news agency.
The study found that the 10 happiest countries in the overall rankings also scored highest on immigrant happiness, suggesting that migrants' well-being depends primarily on the quality of life in their adopted home.