According to the 2018 World Happiness Report, Finland is officially the happiest country in the world. Last year’s first place winner, Norway, came in second place this year, with Denmark, Iceland, and Switzerland close behind.
The report is done by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations. This year, it was released on March 14, just in time for World Happiness Day on March 20. Each country is ranked on six different variables: income, trust, freedom, life expectancy, social support, and generosity.
The report’s co-editor John Helliwell, a professor emeritus of economics at the University of British Columbia said, “The top five countries all have almost equally high values for the six factors found to support happiness, and four of these countries — Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and now Finland — have been in first place in the six World Happiness Report rankings since the first report.” He added that, “In a division with such excellent teams, changes in the top spot are to be expected.”
The United States dropped four spots from last year, putting it in 18th place on the list. The report’s other co-editor, director of Columbia University’s Center for Sustainable Development and economics professor, Jeffrey D. Sachs said, “Governments are increasingly using indicators of happiness to inform their policy-making decisions.”
He went on to add, “US policymakers should take note. The US happiness ranking is falling, in part because of the ongoing epidemics of obesity, substance abuse and untreated depression.”
So, if happiness is what you seek most in life, try vacationing to one of the top few countries on the list. For the more adventurous people, take a leap of faith and just move to Finland. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you’ll find.