Here’s a reason to smile today: Canada is the seventh happiest place in the world, according to the annual World Happiness Report that was released this morning.
Coming in at number one is Finland, which pushed last year’s top country, Norway, into second place. The countries that round out the top five are Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland.
The top 10 countries have been generally the same for the past two years with the exception of a few, small changes. However, Canada has remained in seventh for the past two years.
— Happiness Research (@Happi_Research) March 14, 2018
The United States is also now listed at number 18, falling from 14th place the year before.
“Governments are increasingly using indicators of happiness to inform their policy-making decisions,” notes the report’s co-editor, Jeffrey D. Sachs. “U.S. policymakers should take note. The U.S. happiness ranking is falling, in part because of the ongoing epidemics of obesity, substance abuse, and untreated depression.”
The survey ranks 156 countries based on a number of factors including gross domestic product per person, freedom of choice, trust, health, life expectancy, social support and generosity.
This year’s survey was also the first to assess the happiness of immigrants in each of the countries. All top ten of the overall happiest countries also scored high for immigrant happiness. Canada has a higher spot on the immigrant happiness list, coming in at number four.
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.
“The most striking finding of the report is the remarkable consistency between the happiness of immigrants and the locally born,” said Helliwell, another co-editor on the report. “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. Those who move to happier countries gain, while those who move to less happy countries lose.”
Both the overall and immigrant happiness rankings prove one major thing: Canadians are just as happy, friendly and welcoming as everyone says we are!