Report Finds Finland is World’s Happiest Country
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
According to the latest World Happiness Report, Finland is the happiest country in the world. As for Americans, we seem to be getting less happy — even as the country gets richer. The study by the Sustainable Development Solution Network, released on March 14, ranked 156 countries according to GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.
Finland, which was ranked fifth in the 2017 SDSN report, rose to the top spot, citing access to nature, safety, childcare, good school and free healthcare as some of the best things about their country. Finland snagged the top spot from its neighbor, Norway, but the Nordic countries were still well-represented in the top spots.
The top 10 countries were: Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia.
The US came placed 18th, down from 14th place last year. In the 170-page report, one chapter was dedicated to emerging health problems like obesity, depression and the opioid crisis — all of which have become much larger problems in the US compared to other countries around the world.
The US income per capita has increased over the last half century, but happiness in the country has weakened due to “social support networks, a perceived rise in corruption in government and business and declining confidence in public institutions,” according to Reuters.
This year was the first time the SDSN report ranked the happiness of foreign-born immigrants in 117 countries: Finland won out in this category too. Foreign-born residents were least happiest in Syria, which has been in the middle of a civil war for seven years.
“The most striking finding of the report is the remarkable consistency between the happiness of immigrants and the locally born,” said professor John Helliwell, of Canada’s University of British Columbia, to Reuters. “Those who move to happier countries gain, while those who move to less happy countries lose.”
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.