New Zealand ranked in top 10 happiest nations

Finland has been revealed as the world's happiest country

Finland has been revealed as the world's happiest country

The US dropped four spots from 2017 to rank 18th happiest country this year.

This years World Happiness Report ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels, and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants.

"Finland has vaulted from fifth place to the top of the rankings this year", said the report's authors, although they noted that the other three Nordic countries (plus Switzerland) have nearly interchangeable scores.

The analysis of happiness changes from 2008-2010 to 2015-2015 shows Togo as the biggest gainer, moving up 17 places in the overall rankings from the last place position it held as recently as in the 2015 rankings.

The survey also found Americans were getting less happy even as their country became richer.

John Helliwell, an economist at the University of British Columbia and one of the report's authors, said there were many similarities between countries in the top ten.

"Those who move to happier countries gain, while those who move to less happy countries lose", added Helliwell.

The U.S. came in at 18th, down from 14th place in 2017 while Britain was 19th and the United Arab Emirates 20th.

Meik Wiking, CEO of the Denmark-based Happiness Research Institute, said the five Nordic nations reliably rank high in the index because they "are doing something right in terms of creating good conditions for good lives".

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Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia round out the top ten.

Finland took top honours in that category too, giving the country a statistical double-gold status.

Finland is the happiest place on Earth, according to the 2018 World Happiness Report of 156 nations.

And coming from fifth place on last year's table, this year's victor is...

NEW YORK • Students across the United States walked out of their classrooms yesterday, waving signs and shouting out their demands for tighter gun safety laws as they joined a movement spearheaded by survivors of the deadly shooting spree at a Florida high school last month. Researchers wanted to see if a country's average happiness differed when discriminating between natives and those born overseas.

According to Jeffrey Sachs, a leading USA development economist who contributed to the report, "the U.S. happiness ranking is falling, in part because of the ongoing epidemics of obesity, substance abuse, and untreated depression".

"Governments are increasingly using indicators of happiness to inform their policy-making decisions", notes the report's co-editor, Jeffrey D. Sachs.

According to CNN, his report is the sixth to come out since 2012.

This year's survey was also the first to assess the happiness of immigrants in each of the countries. The rankings are based on Gallup polls of self-reported wellbeing, as well as perceptions of corruption, generosity and freedom.

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