Finland is the world’s happiest country, according to an annual survey published on Wednesday. The African country Burundi placed at the bottom of the list.
The U.N Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s 2018 World Happiness Report ranked 156 countries according to their scores in GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity, and absence of corruption.
The list's leader board was dominated by the Nordics — Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden — while fellow European countries Switzerland and the Netherlands also made the top 10. The only non-European countries to make the top-10 list were Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.
“Finland has vaulted from fifth place to the top of the rankings this year,” said the report, adding that the other three Nordic countries (plus Switzerland) had very similar scores. The rankings are based on a variety of Gallup polls and research methods. All Nordic countries scored the highest in all the “well-being” categories: income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, and trust, and generosity.
Other surveys had previously voted Finland as being the safest, most stable, and best-governed country in the world.
For the first time, the report ranked the happiness of foreign-born immigrants in 117 countries, with Finland scoring double-gold as “home to the world’s happiest immigrants”. Denmark, Norway, and Iceland all followed suit.
Latvia and Bulgaria were among the countries that best improved their scores this year.
Top 10 happiest countries in 2018
8. New Zealand