UAE is the happiest country in the Arab world, report shows

Erika Holt
March 15, 2018

Finland is the world's happiest country, according to the annual survey, which found Americans were getting less happy even as their country became richer.

After being named in second place by last year's World Happiness Report, the Scandinavian country is now third after Finland jumped into first and pushed last year's occupants Norway into second. The U.N. would go on to declare March 20 as the official date since 2012 with the understanding that happiness is a "fundamental human goal" and that it's an important consideration in the creation of public policy around the world.

The UK and U.S. were nowhere near the top ten - the UK finished 19th, one place above the United Arab Emirates, while it seems America's actually getting less happy, dropping four places from 14th to 18th.

The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network's 2018 World Happiness Report ranked 156 countries according to their scores for things such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.

A very high proportion of the worldwide differences in immigrant happiness (as shown in Chapter 2), and of the happiness gains for individual migrants (as studied in Chapters 3 and 5) are thus explained by local happiness and source country happiness.

Nordic and European countries are normally at the top of the ranking. Denmark, Iceland, and Switzerland rounded out the top five.

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"The attitude of immigrants is also important - if they are to find and accept opportunities to connect with the local populations, this is better for everyone", the report explained. The finding on the happiness of immigrants "shows the conditions that we live under matter greatly to our quality of life, that happiness is not only a matter of choice".

John Helliwell, an economist at the University of British Columbia and one of the report's co-editors, said there were many similarities between countries in the top ten. I know that's what drives me and animates me: How to ensure that the Jewish state has a permanent future of security and prosperity... and peace if we can get it.

The unhappiest countries were Burundi, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Tanzania and Yemen. A fifth Nordic country, Sweden, was ranked as the 9th happiest country.

The Report ends on a different tack, with a focus on three emerging health problems that threaten happiness: obesity, the opioid crisis, and depression.

It added that the "sociopolitical system" in the United States produces more income inequality - a major contributing factor to unhappiness - than other countries with comparatively high incomes. During the winter months, the sun doesn't rise at all for 51 days in Lapland, northern Finland.

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