The World Happiness Report 2018 was launched on March 14th 2018, with a special focus on migration and happiness; apart from its usual ranking of the levels and changes in happiness in 156 countries by their happiness levels, this year report adds the ranking of 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants.

According to the report, the overall rankings of country happiness are based on the pooled results from Gallup World Poll surveys from 2015-2017, and show both change and stability. This year´s report includes data on how the decision of migrants to move seeking  for a happier life has a result not only on them, but also in the other two groups affected by migration, those who remain in the area of origin, and those who are already living in the area of destination.

Some of the highlights from the 2018 report are the following:

  • All the top countries tend to have high values for the six key variables that have been found to support well-being: income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity.
  • The top ten positions are held by the same countries as in the last two years, although with some swapping of places. This year top ten positions are the following: Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia.
  • The happiness bulge in Latin America is found to depend on the greater warmth of family and other social relationships there, and to the greater importance that people there attach to these relationships.
  • 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. Where immigrants are welcome and where they integrate well, immigration works best.
  • The countries with the happiest immigrants are not the richest countries, but instead the countries with a more balanced set of social and institutional supports for better lives.

Don´t forget to take a look to the full report!

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