Turkey slips to 74th place in ‘world happiness’ ratings while Finland tops list
Turkey has slipped five places to 74th out of 156 countries in the “world happiness ratings,” while Finland tops the list, according to The World Happiness Report 2018, which is an annual publication of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Turkey came 69th in last year’s report.
Among the variables, Turkey performed strongest in social support and reasonably well in GDP per capita and healthy life expectancy. Freedom to make life choices, generosity and perceptions of corruption are the variables that seem to have lowered Turkey’s ranking.
The rankings are based on surveys undertaken by Gallup International from 2015-2017 and well-being indicators such as income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity.
Nordic countries keep leading
“That Finland is the top scorer is remarkable. GDP per capita in Finland is lower than its neighboring Nordic countries and is much lower than that of the U.S. The Finns are good at converting wealth into wellbeing,” said Meik Wiking of the Happiness Research Institute, based in Denmark, at the launch event that took place at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in the Vatican City on March 14.
As in the past years, Nordic countries dominated the top rankings as the U.S. has continued to slip down.
“Rounding out the rest of the top ten in order of overall happiness are Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, and Australia. The U.S. ranked 18th, dropping down four spots from last year,” said the press release.
“U.S. policymakers should take note. The U.S. happiness ranking is falling, in part because of the ongoing epidemics of obesity, substance abuse, and untreated depression,” co-editor Jeffrey D. Sachs noted.
Focus on immigrants
Comparing the happiness levels of locally-born and foreign-born people has been a focus point of this year’s report.
“The most striking finding of the report is the remarkable consistency between the happiness of immigrants and the locally born,” said co-editor Professor John Helliwell of the University of British Columbia.
“Although immigrants come from countries with very different levels of happiness, their reported life evaluations converge towards those of other residents in their new countries,” he added.