The latest World Happiness Report ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels and was published on 14 March 2018. This year's report has a special focus on Immigration.


Headlines FOR 2018

* Finland tops the happiness rankings

* Norway, Denmark, Iceland & Switzerland complete the top 5

* The United States drops down four places to 18th

* Immigrants tend to become as happy as the rest of the population in their new countries, but they continue to have a happiness ‘footprint’ from their country of birth

The World Happiness Report continues to draw global attention around the need to create sound policy for what matters most to people
— Jeffrey Sachs

Finland tops the happiness rankings

Finland has jumped from 5th place in 2016 to 1st place this year, followed by Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland in a tightly packed bunch. The top countries all rank highly on all the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance.


Happiness and Immigration

The most striking finding of the report is the remarkable consistency between the happiness of immigrants and those born locally.

Although immigrants come from countries with very different levels of happiness, their happiness levels converge towards those of other residents in their new countries. Those who move to happier countries gain, while those who move to less happy countries lose.

There is a ‘footprint’ effect from the happiness levels in the countries where migrants are born. Migrants generally move to happier countries, so on average migrants do gain. The footprint effect means that immigrants are slightly less happy than the locally born in the happiest countries, and happier than the local populations in the least happy countries.


Happiness has fallen again in America

The USA is a story of reduced happiness. In 2007 the USA ranked 3rd among the OECD countries; in 2018 it has fallen a further four places to 18th.


Find out more about this year's report at


The World Happiness Report is produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) with support from the Ernesto Illy Foundation. It is edited by Professor John F. Helliwell of the University of British Columbia and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research; Professor Richard Layard, director of the Well-Being Programme at LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance; and Professor Sachs, director of SDSN.


Global Happiness Policy Report

The Global Happiness Policy Report is produced by the Global Happiness Council. It contains evidence from expert working groups on good governance and provides policy recommendations on best practices to promote happiness and well-being.