Finland tops 2018 United Nations global happiness index

Jeannette Daniel
March 15, 2018

"Although immigrants come from countries with very different levels of happiness, their reported life evaluations converge towards those of other residents in their new countries", he said.

Finland has claimed the bragging rights in the latest World Happiness Report, which is put together by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations.

Former perennial first-placer Denmark is now third, while Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia round out the top ten.

The report revealed that Finland is the world's happiest country while Burundi placed at the bottom of the happiness index.

In East Asia, Singapore was ranked 34th, Japan 54th, South Korea 57th, Hong Kong 76th and China 86th.

According to Jeffrey Sachs, a leading USA development economist who contributed to the report, "the U.S. happiness ranking is falling, in part because of the ongoing epidemics of obesity, substance abuse, and untreated depression".

Finland soared to the number one position, while Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland rounded out the top five. Its largest immigrant groups come from other European countries.

Taiwan has a population of roughly 23.67 million, according to Worldometers website, and a total of 715,938 foreigners up until the start of 2018, according to National Immigration Agency statistics.

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Fans of skiing, saunas and Father Christmas won't be surprised to hear Finland has been named the happiest place to live.

A very high proportion of the global differences in immigrant happiness (as shown in Chapter 2), and of the happiness gains for individual migrants (as studied in Chapters 3 and 5) are thus explained by local happiness and source country happiness.

"The most striking finding of the report is the remarkable consistency between the happiness of immigrants and the locally born", said Prof. The researchers noted all the top countries - particularly the Nordic regions - tended to have high values for income, life expectancy and social support, as well as a sense of freedom, trust and generosity.

Finland, for example, tops the list of countries with the happiest immigrant populations as well.

The United States was 11th in the first index and has never been in the Top 10.

This year's report, published six days ahead of World Happiness Day on March 20, also looked at migration within and between countries.

"Even seven-and-a-half years after migrating to urban areas, migrants from rural areas are on average less happy than they might have been had they stayed at home", according to John Knight of the Oxford Chinese Economy Programme at the University of Oxford and one of the contributors to the United Nations report.

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