2018 World Happiness Report: Which Country is All Smiles?

March 15, 2018
Kerry Lengyel

According to this year’s World Happiness Report, the United States is falling way behind while this European country rises to the top.

The same 10 countries have maintained top positions in the World Happiness Report over the past two years, but in 2018 a new frontrunner has emerged. And no, it’s definitely not the United States.

Finland has the honor of being dubbed the happiest country in the world this year, rising from fifth place in the 2017 report and knocking Norway out of the leading position.

Analysts used data from Gallup World Poll surveys between 2015 and 2017 to compile this year’s results, ranking 156 countries by their happiness levels and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants.

The countries that have remained in the top 10 spots have all been given high marks in the six key variables found to support wellbeing: income, healthy life expectancy, freedom, trust, generosity and social support.

You won’t find the United States on this year’s top list. In fact, America experienced a decline in happiness; falling in the rankings from 14th place in 2017 to No. 18 this year. Why the downturn? The report mentions that obesity, depression and the opioid crisis have become larger issues in the United States compared with other countries.

The report also states: “Social support networks in the United States have weakened over time; perceptions of corruption in government and business have risen over time; and confidence in public institutions has waned.”

So, which countries are the happiest in the world? Keep in mind, many also boast the highest annual salaries for veterinarians.

10. Australia

  • Fell behind one spot this year, from ninth to 10th.

9. Sweden

  • Moved up one spot this year, from 10th to ninth.

8. New Zealand

  • Holding strong in the eighth spot for the second year in a row.
  • Second most-accepting country in the world for migrants, according to the report.
  • Ranked fifth for the world’s happiest immigrants, according to the report.

7. Canada

  • Sixth highest-paying country for veterinarians.
  • The North American country came in seventh on last year’s list, too.

6. Netherlands

  • Second highest-paying country for veterinarians.
  • Holding strong in the sixth spot, which this country also held last year.

5. Switzerland

  • Third highest-paying country for veterinarians.

4. Iceland

  • Fourth highest-paying country for veterinarians
  • Most-accepting country in the world for migrants, according to the report.
  • Ranked fourth for the world’s happiest immigrants, according to the report.

3. Denmark

  • Ninth highest-paying country for veterinarians.
  • Ranked second for the world’s happiest immigrants, according to the report.

2. Norway

  • Ranked third for the world’s happiest immigrants, according to the report.
  • Dropped from its top spot last year to second place this year.

1. Finland

  • Also home to the world’s happiest immigrants, according to the report.