Report Names Finland As 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

The UAE is the happiest country in the Arab world and ranks 20th among 156 countries measured in this year's World Happiness Report.

"There is a new top ranking country, Finland, but the top ten positions are held by the same countries as in the last two years, although with some swapping of places". In fact, the USA has never even entered the top 10 of the World Happiness Report ranking.

Finland, rose from fifth place a year ago to oust Norway from the top spot.

The results are based on six key factors found to support wellbeing - income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust, and generosity.

This cuts both ways: A person who moves to a country high on the happiness list will probably become happier, and a person who moves to a lower-ranked country will probably become less happy.

In 2017, Nigeria ranked 95th on the index. Once again, Finland came out on top.

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.

On Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed to Israel's consistently high scores on the global Happiness Index as evidence that Israelis, particularly young Israelis, were aware of his contributions to the country.

"Briefly put, (Nordic countries) are good at converting wealth into well-being", Wiking said. The 2018 top-10, as ever dominated by the Nordics, is: Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia. "I love the fact that we live with so many nationalities that the country embraces with full respect and no discrimination", Emirati Ahmed bin Al Sheikh said. "Happiness can change, and does change, according to the quality of the society in which people live".

"The most striking finding of the report is the remarkable consistency between the happiness of immigrants and the locally born", said Professor John Helliwell of Canada's University of British Columbia.

The United States was 11th in the first index and has never been in the Top 10. "Yes, we have many things that make me happy".

The unhappiest countries were Burundi, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Tanzania and Yemen.

The Report ends on a different tack, with a focus on three emerging health problems that threaten happiness: obesity, the opioid crisis, and depression. "The trends are not good, and the comparative position of the USA relative to other high-income countries is nothing short of alarming". During the winter months, the sun doesn't rise at all for 51 days in Lapland, northern Finland.



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