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Despite cold, dark, Finland tops 2018 global happiness index

15 March 2018

Burundi can be found at the very bottom, the list ranking for things such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption. The countries that round out the top five are Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland.

The report was produced by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network and edited by three economists: Dr. Sachs, the network's director and a professor at Columbia University; John F. Helliwell, a senior fellow at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia; and Richard Layard, a director of the Well-Being Program at the London School of Economics' Center for Economic Performance.

The United States fell from 14th place in 2017 to 18th place this year.

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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 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.

Finland has helped itself to Norway's title as the world's happiest country, according to the annual World Happiness Report. Netanyahu said. "It's a country in this awful neighborhood, you've got terrorism, you've got radical Islam, you've got challenges, ' but it comes up ahead of most countries in the world".

One central focus of this year's report - besides, you know, happiness in general - was the happiness of the 156 countries' migrant communities.

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In fact, this list's leaders may have shuffled a bit - but, as the report explains, "the top ten positions are held by the same countries as in the last two years". "Despite paying some of the highest taxes in the world, "(Nordic countries) are good at converting wealth into well-being". "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 Helliwell.

The 170-page report also reflected emerging health problems like obesity, depression, opioid crisis, especially in the United States who emerged as the leading nation with this health deformities.

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The results confirm Sachs' prediction who, in presenting last year's report that showed the USA drop by one spot in the ranking, said the policy of the then newly-elected President Donald Trump would make things worse for Americans. Most notably, it found that the happiness of a country's immigrants is nearly identical to that of its population at large - indicating, Helliwell said, that "people essentially adjust to the average happiness level of the country they're moving to".

Despite cold, dark, Finland tops 2018 global happiness index