Finland has been rated as the happiest country in the world by an annual survey that measures factors like life expectancy, social support and corruption.
The Scandinavian country, despite its extreme climate conditions, topped the list.
The report published by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, evaluated 117 countries on the happiness and well-being of their immigrants. John Helliwell, a co-editor of the World Happiness Report and professor emeritus of economics at the University of British Columbia, noted that all Top 10 countries scored in overall happiness and happiness of immigrants.
The Nordic nations, have dominated the index since its inception in 2012. This year, Finland being first, pushed Norway to second place. Among the Top 10 happiest nations are Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia. The United States fell to 18th place from 14th last year.
Meik Wiking, CEO of the Copenhagen-based Happiness Research Institute, said the five Nordic countries “are doing something right in terms of creating good conditions for lives”. He said the happiness quotient revealed in the survey derives from healthy amounts of both personal freedoms and social security that outweigh residents having to pay some of the highest taxes in the world.
One of the world’s northernmost countries stretching some 1,160 kilometers from north to south, the sun does not set for 73 consecutive days during summer at Finland’s northernmost point. During the winter months, the sun doesn’t rise at all for 51 days in Lapland, northern Finland.