After the sad rating of worst countries for women we’d like to share a brighter view of the world.
UN recently published the 2018 World Happiness Report, measuring levels of happiness around the globe. The rankings are based on Gallup polls of self-reported well-being, as well as perceptions of corruption, generosity, and freedom.
And without further delay, the happiest country in 2018 is… Finland!
The top-5 of this list is occupied by Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Switzerland and hasn’t seen much change for quite a while. The main difference in 2018 is that Finland jumped 5 positions up and moved Norway from first place.
GDP per capita in Finland, a country with a population of only 5.5 million people, is the lowest among the neighboring Nordic countries and much lower than that of the US. But the Finns appeared to be the best in converting wealth into wellbeing. The country has been ranked the most stable, safest and best governed country in the world. It is also among the least corrupt and the most socially progressive.
The study also reveals the US has fallen five positions down from 2016, to 18th place. A special chapter of UN’s report is devoted to why the US, once towards the top of happiness table, is constantly slipping down the league while having nearly the highest income per capita. Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University in New York and one of the report’s authors, said: “America’s subjective wellbeing is being systematically undermined by three interrelated epidemic diseases, notably obesity, substance abuse (especially opioid addiction) and depression.”
African countries usually get the worst happiness scores, but one west African nation has bucked the trend. Togo came last in 2015 but was the biggest improver in the 2018 report, rising 18 places.
Venezuela suffered the biggest fall in happiness, almost -2.2 points, outstripping even Syria. Although in absolute terms it remains a mid-ranking country. The report notes that Latin American countries generally scored higher than their GDP per capita suggests.
Meanwhile, the greatest human migration in history – the hundreds of millions of people who have moved from the Chinese countryside into cities – has not advanced happiness at all, the report found. “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,” said John Knight, who is working in Oxford Chinese Economy Programme at the University of Oxford.
Here’s the list of Top 10 happiest countries for 2018
8. New Zealand
Source: The Guardian