Based on a global ranking of happiness levels across 156 countries, Finland has claimed the No. 1 spot in this year’s World Happiness Report. Now in its sixth year, the World Happiness Report is produced by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Over the past two years, the world’s top 10 happiest countries have remained the same, but have slightly shuffled positions. Through a measurement of happiness and well-being called the “Cantril ladder,” Gallup asked nationally representative populations to value their lives on a scale from 0 to 10, with the worst possible life valued at 0 and the best valued at 10.
The top countries frequently have high values for all six of the key variables that contribute to overall well-being: income (GDP per capita), healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust (absence of corruption) and generosity.
Here are the top 10 happiest countries and how they measure on the Cantril ladder:
1. Finland: 7.632
2. Norway: 7.594
3. Denmark: 7.555
4. Iceland: 7.495
5. Switzerland: 7.487
6. Netherlands: 7.441
7. Canada: 7.328
8. New Zealand: 7.324
9. Sweden: 7.314
10. Australia: 7.272
John Helliwell, the University of British Columbia economist who co-edited the report, told Washington Post that the most surprising finding researchers came across was “the extent to which happiness of immigrants matches the locally born population.”