A new study by the United Nations claims that Finland is the ‘happiest country in the world’ for the second year in a row.
The UN’s World Happiness Report puts Finland in first place, ahead of Denmark in second, and Norway in third.
Iceland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Canada and Austria round out the top ten ‘happies countries in the world’.
The research, carried out for the seventh time, finds that happiness in Finland has been on a steady upward trend since 2014, with a slight dip in 2014, and this year Finland has pulled further ahead of other countries in the happiness stakes.
The research was carried out by asking people in 156 countries about social security, economic issues, and individual freedoms.
“Happiness has been changing over the past dozen years” the report finds, as researchers looked into different aspects of how technology, governance and social norms influence communities.
”This year after presenting our usual country rankings of life evaluations, and tracing the evolution since 2005 of life evaluations, positive affect, negative affect, and our six key explanatory factors, we consider more broadly some of the main forces that influence happiness by changing the ways in which communities and their members interact with each other” the report’s authors explain.
Researchers measured such areas as links between government actions and happiness; the power of social behaviour like generosity as a way to create happy communities; and also how information technology could affect happiness.
Report authors noted the close correlation between the happiest countries, and the countries with the happiest immigrants. They found it shows that the happiness of immigrants depends predominantly on the quality of life where they live now, rather than the societies where they came from.
Finland came top of the overall list, and also at the top of the happiest immigrants index.