People from all over the planet find happiness in different ways, but the UN’s Happiness Research Institute finds it in things like life expectancy, equality and aid services.
The Institute’s World Happiness Report has been released for another year, with Finland taking out the coveted top spot in the ranking of 156 countries. It pushed neighbouring country and last year’s happiest country, Norway, into second place.
Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and our humble island home rounded out the top 10.
This year, for the first time, the report also ranked the wellbeing of immigrants in 117 countries, with the overall top 10 also scoring highest where immigrant happiness was concerned.
“The most striking finding of the report is the remarkable consistency between the happiness of immigrants and the locally born,” John Helliwell, professor emeritus of economics at the University of British Columbia and co-editor of the report, said. “Those who move to happier countries gain, while those who move to less happy countries lose.”
Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, said the fact that Nordic countries make up the majority of the top 10 could be attributed to their ability to convert “wealth into wellbeing” – basically, having to pay some of the world’s highest taxes doesn’t feel so bad when you’ve got personal freedom and social security in spades.
(All images: Ethan Hu)
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Kristen Amiet is a previous AWOL editor, bona fide travel addict, sometimes whisky drinker and full-time breakfast food enthusiast.