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Finland tops 2018 United Nations global happiness index

Finland tops 2018 United Nations global happiness index

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.

For 2018, Finland was named the happiest country in the world, pushing last year's victor, Norway, into second place. In fact, the USA has never even entered the top 10 of the World Happiness Report ranking.

The United States is also now listed at number 18, falling from 14th place the year before.

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.

But it wasn't just the Scandinavian countries that made the list - here are the rest of the top ten happiest countries in the world.

Commenting on the report, Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, based in Denmark, told HuffPost UK: "The Nordic "secret" to happiness lies in their ability to limit misery - that is, people who report very low levels of happiness".

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New Zealand has been named in the top ten happiest countries in the world.

Happiness revealed in the survey comes from healthy amounts of both personal freedom and social security, outweighing "some of the highest taxes in the world", Wiking said to AP.

Europe's Nordic nations, none particularly diverse, have dominated the index since it first was produced in 2012. "These countries share a very similar level of GDP per capita, but Finland converts its wealth into wellbeing in a much better way than the United Kingdom", he said.

"Governments are increasingly using indicators of happiness to inform their policy-making decisions", said report co-editor Jeffrey D. Sachs, who is also an economics professor.

Speaking on the report, Prof. "Happiness can change, and does change, according to the quality of the society in which people live". To explain its fall to 18th, the report's authors cited several factors. Two more Nordic countries follow: Denmark and Iceland.

The 170-page report also reflected emerging health problems like obesity, depression, opioid crisis, especially in the USA who emerged as the leading nation with this health deformities. "The trends are not good, and the comparative position of the US relative to other high-income countries is nothing short of alarming". The countries with the happiest immigrants are not the richest countries, but instead the countries with a more balanced set of social and institutional supports for better lives. During the winter months, the sun doesn't rise at all for 51 days in Lapland, northern Finland.


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