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. 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.”
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees