Australia, Canada rank among top 10 happiest countries
Posted on March 17, 2018
The 2018 World Happiness Report of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) ranked the world’s happiest countries factoring in aspects such as social freedom, GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, corruption-free, accommodating nature and social support.
According to the report published on 14 March, the world’s happiest country is Finland and Burundi was found to be the least happy among 156 countries ranked.
Despite the severe winters, nationals of Finland said safety, nature, free healthcare, childcare and good schools endeared them to their country.
Brianna Owens, a US citizen who relocated to Espoo, the second biggest city of Finland as a teacher, was quoted by Reuters as saying that he jokingly referred to his fellow Americans that he was living the American dream in this Scandinavian country.
He said that from university and transportation, everything in Finland was amenable to allow people to attain success.
Finland, which was ranked fifth in the same rankings last year, displaced Norway from the top spot. The other top 10 ranked countries on this list of 2018 are Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Canada, Switzerland and Australia.
Of these, Canada and Australia are large economies which are very immigrant-friendly. Canada has become the most accommodating country for immigrants after Justin Trudeau took over as its Premier. The government has been pitching Toronto, which many people aver will be rivalling Silicon Valley in the near future. Its Express Entry programs and Provincial Nominee Programs have seen a record number of international skilled workers heading to its shores.
On the other hand, Australia is one of the largest magnets for international students globally. In addition, it has the distinction of being the only country not to have faced a recession in the last 26 years. Of late, Sydney and Melbourne have become truly international cities competing with the likes of New York or London by attracting world’s top finance, IT and manufacturing companies, among others to set up shop within their city limits. Moreover, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Melbourne the most livable city in the world for the seventh consecutive year in 2017.
On the other hand, the US was ranked at 18th, the UK at 19th and the UAE at 20th. The US slipped four places because of new-age problems such as depression, obesity and drugs.
Although the per capita income of the US has risen substantially over the last 50 years, happiness quotient has been affected due to a perception in the rise in government and business corruption, diminished social support networks and dipping confidence in public institutions.
Jeffrey Sachs, Professor in New York’s Columbia University, the head of the SDSN, said that America was currently in the midst of a social crisis owing to trust-deficit in the government and growing inequality in society.
Saying the picture was quite grim now, Sachs said that the future of their country was not looking promising. He said that even as America was becoming wealthier, levels of happiness were falling.
Professor John Helliwell of the University of British Columbia, Canada, said that the striking feature of the report was the correlation between the immigrants’ happiness levels and the indigenous population.
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