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.”
This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.
- Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
- Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
- If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
- No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
- Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
- Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- Low $95 annual fee