Happiest-countries in the world 2018

Happiest countries in the world 2018

The happiest countries in the world of 2018 have been ranked in the latest World Happiness Report. This year, Finland has snatched the title knocking Norway into second.

The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative for the United Nations, has published this year’s World Happiness Report. The SDSN employs an international group of economists, neuroscientists and statisticians to survey citizens on their subjective wellbeing and produce a comprehensive annual list of the happiest countries in the world.

Assessing happiness

SDSN highlights that its rankings are not an index like the longer running Human Development Index (HDI) and more recent Happy Planet Index (HPI). These are often influenced by sponsors and draw only partly on self-assessment – or make no use of it at all.

SDSN stresses that its findings draw heavily on data from population samples in each country, using a life evaluation survey to produce subjective wellbeing data.

The report principally relies on asking a straightforward, subjective question of more than 1,000 people in more than 150 countries:

Imagine a ladder, with steps numbered from 0 at the bottom to 10 at the top.

The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time?

That is not to say the report is without a scientific basis. Economic and social influences are considered along with the survey (namely GDP per capita, social support, life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and perceptions of corruption), but the focus is on how happy citizens say they are; not how happy statisticians think they should be.

The geography of happiness

Happiest countries in the world 2018 mapPeter | Atlas & Boots

Scandinavian countries rank highly in the happiest countries in the world list

Unsurprisingly, there is a strong correlation between unhappiness and the poorest and most dangerous countries. Troubled sub-Saharan African states along with Syria, Yemen and Haiti account for the majority of the lowest rankings. Burundi is ranked the least happiest country in the world.

Rather predictably, North American and European (particularly Scandinavian) countries feature highly in the happiest countries in the world list. Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland round out the top five while the US and UK are ranked 18th and 19th respectively.

Other key headlines include:

There is a new top ranking country, Finland, but the top 10 positions are held by the same countries as in the last two years, although with some swapping of places.

Four different countries have held top spot in the four most recent reports: Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and now Finland.

Over the last 10 years, Togo is the biggest gainer, moving up 17 places in the overall rankings from the last place position it held as recently as in the 2015 rankings.

A ranking of countries according to the happiness of their immigrant populations is almost exactly the same as for the rest of the population.

happiest countries in the world 2018 – ranked

RANKCOUNTRYSCORE
1Finland7.632
2Norway7.594
3Denmark7.555
4Iceland7.495
5Switzerland7.487
6Netherlands7.441
7Canada7.328
8New Zealand7.324
9Sweden7.314
10Australia7.272
11Israel7.190
12Austria7.139
13Costa Rica7.072
14Ireland6.977
15Germany6.965
16Belgium6.927
17Luxembourg6.910
18United States6.886
19United Kingdom6.814
20United Arab Emirates6.774
21Czech republic6.711
22Malta6.627
23France6.489
24Mexico6.488
25Chile6.476
26Taiwan6.441
27Panama6.430
28Brazil6.419
29Argentina6.388
30Guatemala6.382
31Uruguay6.379
32Qatar6.374
33Saudi Arabia6.371
34Singapore6.343
35Malaysia6.322
36Spain6.310
37Colombia6.260
38Trinidad & Tobago6.192
39Slovakia6.173
40El Salvador6.167
41Nicaragua6.141
42Poland6.123
43Bahrain6.105
44Uzbekistan6.096
45Kuwait6.083
46Thailand6.072
47Italy6.000
48Ecuador5.973
49Belize5.956
50Lithuania5.952
51Slovenia5.948
52Romania5.945
53Latvia5.933
54Japan5.915
55Mauritius5.891
56Jamaica5.890
57South Korea5.875
58Northern Cyprus5.835
59Russia5.810
60Kazakhstan5.790
61Cyprus5.762
62Bolivia5.752
63Estonia5.739
64Paraguay5.681
65Peru5.663
66Kosovo5.662
67Moldova5.640
68Turkmenistan5.636
69Hungary5.620
70Libya5.566
71Philippines5.524
72Honduras5.504
73Belarus5.483
74Turkey5.483
75Pakistan5.472
76Hong Kong SAR, China5.430
77Portugal5.410
78Serbia5.398
79Greece5.358
80Tajikistan5.352
81Montenegro5.347
82Croatia5.321
83Dominican republic5.302
84Algeria5.295
85Morocco5.254
86China5.246
87Azerbaijan5.201
88Lebanon5.199
89Macedonia5.185
90Jordan5.161
91Nigeria5.155
92Kyrgyzstan5.131
93Bosnia and Herzegovina5.129
94Mongolia5.125
95Vietnam5.103
96Indonesia5.093
97Bhutan5.082
98Somalia4.982
99Cameroon4.975
100Bulgaria4.933
101Nepal4.880
102Venezuela4.806
103Gabon4.758
104Palestinian Territories4.743
105South Africa4.724
106Iran4.707
107Ivory Coast4.671
108Ghana4.657
109Senegal4.631
110Laos4.623
111Tunisia4.592
112Albania4.586
113Sierra Leone4.571
114Congo Brazzaville4.559
115Bangladesh4.500
116Sri Lanka4.471
117Iraq4.456
118Mali4.447
119Namibia4.441
120Cambodia4.433
121Burkina Faso4.424
122Egypt4.419
123Mozambique4.417
124Kenya4.410
125Zambia4.377
126Mauritania4.356
127Ethiopia4.350
128Georgia4.340
129Armenia4.321
130Myanmar4.308
131Chad4.301
132Congo Kinshasa4.245
133India4.190
134Niger4.166
135Uganda4.161
136Benin4.141
137Sudan4.139
138Ukraine4.103
139Togo3.999
140Guinea3.964
141Lesotho3.808
142Angola3.795
143Madagascar3.774
144Zimbabwe3.692
145Afghanistan3.632
146Botswana3.590
147Malawi3.587
148Haiti3.582
149Liberia3.495
150Syria3.462
151Rwanda3.408
152Yemen3.355
153Tanzania3.303
154South Sudan3.254
155Central African Republic3.083
156Burundi2.905
Lead image: Dreamstime

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