- New Zealand
The report showed a decline in American happiness that pointed to a social crisis as opposed to an economic crisis. The downward drop in the United States continued and now ranks 18, down from number 14 in 2017 and 13 in 2016.
The report pays special attention to the social foundations of happiness for individuals and nations. It starts with global and regional charts showing the distribution of answers from approximately 3,000 respondents in each of more than 156 countries, up from 150 countries.
The 2018 report also measures 117 countries by the happiness of its immigrants. Finland ranks highest in this category also, with the rankings closely following the general ranking with the exception of Mexico being number 10, displacing the Netherlands from the top ten as it drops to the 11th rank. The United States, with an immigrant population of 15%, ranks 15th right behind Austria at 14th, Ireland at 13th, and Israel at 12th.
The top ten countries have remained the same as last year although some have switched places. Six key variables are surveyed for happiness, each of which digs into a different aspect of life.
These six factors are GDP per capita, healthy years of life expectancy, social support (as measured by having someone to count on in times of trouble), trust (as measured by a perceived absence of corruption in government and business), perceived freedom to make life decisions, and generosity (as measured by recent donations). All of the top ten countries rank high in all six of these factors.