The happiest place on Earth is Finland

Finland has come out on top of an international index that ranks nations by how happy they are as places to live

Finland has come out on top of an international index that ranks nations by how happy they are as places to live

The immigrant happiness rankings are based on the full span of Gallup data from 2005 to 2017, sufficient to have 117 countries with more than 100 immigrant respondents.

Rounding out the Top 10 are Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia.

After last year's triumphal ascendancy to the top of the list from fourth-place rankings in 2015 and 2016, Norway now finds itself pushed into second after Finland jumped up to first.

Differences among the top five countries are small enough that jostling among the top five is expected every year.

In addition to its joyful locals, Finland is also home to the happiest immigrants, the study found.

People in Burundi are unhappiest with their lives, according to the survey of 156 countries, followed by Central African Republic (155), South Sudan (154), Tanzania (153) and Yemen (152).

Israel has not fallen below 14th in the history of the report, which first came out in 2012.

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The United States dropped to 18th place from last year's 14th. And again, Finland - home to around 300,000 foreigners - came out on top.

Compared with a 2008-10 base period, 58 countries became significantly happier, and 59 became significantly less happy.

The country topped all others in the six key components that contribute to overall happiness-income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support, and generosity.

Most notably, it found that the happiness of a country's immigrants is nearly identical to that of its population at large - indicating, Dr. Helliwell said in an interview, that "people essentially adjust to the average happiness level of the country they're moving to". "Although immigrants come from countries with very different levels of happiness, their reported life evaluations converge towards those of other residents in their new countries". He added that the finding "shows the conditions that we live under matter greatly to our quality of life, that happiness is not only a matter of choice". This effect ranges from 10% to 25%. Norway, last year's happiest place, moved down to the No. 2 spot. The report particularly noted that Jews from the former Soviet Union considered themselves happier after they immigrated to Israel.

"The in the midst of a complex and worsening public-health crisis, involving epidemics of obesity, opioid addiction, and major depressive disorder that are all remarkable by global standards", writes the chapter's author, Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia University's Center for Sustainable Development.

The report states that countries "with a more balanced set of social and institutional support for better lives" ranked higher on the immigrant happiness list, showing that the richest countries don't necessarily have the happiest migrants.

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