Lest you think happiness is an arbitrary measure.
A 172-page report released by the United Nations that includes a dizzying array of academic input, analyses, facts, figures, and research has ranked 155 countries based on their level of ‘happiness’. It is aptly called the World Happiness Report.
Canada is the 7th happiest country in the world. Nordic countries reign supreme, meanwhile, with Finland, Norway, and Denmark taking the top three spots, respectively. Our neighbours to the South scored a not-so-peachy 18th.
While Canada’s happiness remained unchanged compared to 2017, Canadians are actually considerably less happy now compared to 2011. Canada recorded a -0.213 change in happiness over the last seven years, which is good for 97th on the list – just ahead of Haiti.
So, how were these rankings determined? Each country was scored out of 10, with results compiled from domestic surveys taken by residents of each respective country over the course of the last three years.
This year’s report, the sixth annual, was particularly focused on migration. “Increasingly, with globalisation, the people of the world are on the move; and most of these migrants are seeking a happier life. But do they achieve it?” reads the intro. “That is the central issue considered in this 2018 World Happiness Report.”
Three key findings emerged in this respect:
- – In the typical country, immigrants are about as happy as people born locally
- – The happiness of each migrant depends not only on the happiness of locals (with a weight of roughly 0.75) but also on the level of happiness in the migrant’s country of origin (with a weight of roughly 0.25).
- – The happiness of immigrants also depends importantly on how accepting the locals are towards immigrants.
These facts considered, it’s easy to understand why Canadians – and newcomers to Canada – are among the happiest people in the world.