These Are The Happiest Countries in the World, According to the UN

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The US dropped to No. 19 this year. Want to be happier? Try moving to Finland. 

The results are in. And we should all probably move to Scandinavia.

In a lengthy, data-heavy report released today, the UN shared their 7th World Happiness Report.

These rankings released each International Day of Happiness (March 20) digs deep into the science of global happiness, showing that the quality of people’s lives can be coherently, reliably, and validly assessed by a variety of subjective well-being measures.

They rank 156 countries by six key variables; GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and absence of corruption.

Finland came first for the second year in a row, unsurprisingly. Scandinavian countries take up the top four spots (Denmark, Norway, and Iceland are followed closely by the Netherlands and Switzerland). The U.S. came in at No. 18 last year but this year dropped one spot to No. 19, just ahead of the Czech Republic and just behind Belgium. In the last place, at No. 156 came South Sudan. 

But it goes beyond just ranking countries, the lengthy data makes for a fascinating read each year as different central themes are picked too. Last year's report studied migration and happiness compared to native-born citizens. This year's theme considers some of the main forces that influence happiness by changing the ways in which communities and their members interact with each other, dealing with links between government and happiness, the power of prosocial behaviour, and changes in information technology.

So what makes Scandinavians just so jolly? Hanne Ørstavik delved into it for us in "A Scandinavian Explains Why They're the Happiest People in the World", "It helps to know that if your child has a chronic disease, she will get free medical treatment. That schools and universities are free, for everyone. Our famously generous parental leave—about 12 months fully paid, including 12 weeks for fathers, in order to encourage early bonding between father and child, with a long-term goal of enhancing equality between the sexes—also contributes to this feeling of being protected by something larger than yourself, of living within a system that cares." 

Related: The Happiest Place in the World, According to Instagram

Read on to see the list of 156 countries in full, ranked from happiest to least happy: 

1. Finland (7.769)

2. Denmark (7.600)

3. Norway (7.554)

4. Iceland (7.494)

5. Netherlands (7.488)

6. Switzerland (7.480)

7. Sweden (7.343)

8. New Zealand (7.307)

9. Canada (7.278)

10. Austria (7.246)

11. Australia (7.228)

12. Costa Rica (7.167)

13. Israel (7.139)

14. Luxembourg (7.090)

15. United Kingdom (7.054)

16. Ireland (7.021)

17. Germany (6.985)

18. Belgium (6.923)

19. United States (6.892)

20. Czech Republic (6.852)

21. United Arab Emirates (6.825)

22. Malta (6.726)

23. Mexico (6.595)

24. France (6.592)

25. Taiwan Province of China (6.446)

26. Chile (6.444)

27. Guatemala (6.436)

28. Saudi Arabia (6.375)

29. Qatar (6.374)

30. Spain (6.354)

31. Panama (6.321)

32. Brazil (6.300)

33. Uruguay (6.293)

34. Singapore (6.262)

35. El Salvador (6.253)

36. Italy (6.223)

37. Bahrain (6.199)

38. Slovakia (6.198)

39. Trinidad and Tobago (6.192)

40. Poland (6.182)

41. Uzbekistan (6.174)

42. Lithuania (6.149)

43. Colombia (6.125)

44. Slovenia (6.118)

45. Nicaragua (6.105)

46. Kosovo (6.100)

47. Argentina (6.086)

48. Romania (6.070)

49. Cyprus (6.046)

50. Ecuador (6.028)

51. Kuwait (6.021)

52. Thailand (6.008)

53. Latvia (5.940)

54. South Korea (5.895)

55. Estonia (5.893)

56. Jamaica (5.890)

57. Mauritius (5.888)

58. Japan (5.886)

59. Honduras (5.860)

60. Kazakhstan (5.809)

61. Bolivia (5.779)

62. Hungary (5.758)

63. Paraguay (5.743)

64. North Cyprus (5.718)

65. Peru (5.697)

66. Portugal (5.693)

67. Pakistan (5.653)

68. Russia (5.648)

69. Philippines (5.631)

70. Serbia (5.603)

71. Moldova (5.529)

72. Libya (5.525)

73. Montenegro (5.523)

74. Tajikistan (5.467)

75. Croatia (5.432)

76. Hong Kong SAR, China (5.430)

77. Dominican Republic (5.425)

78. Bosnia and Herzegovina (5.386)

79. Turkey (5.373)

80. Malaysia (5.339)

81. Belarus (5.323)

82. Greece (5.287)

83. Mongolia (5.285)

84. Macedonia (5.274)

85. Nigeria (5.265)

86. Kyrgyzstan (5.261)

87. Turkmenistan (5.247)

88. Algeria (5.211)

89. Morocco (5.208)

90. Azerbaijan (5.208)

91. Lebanon (5.197)

92. Indonesia (5.192)

93. China (5.191)

94. Vietnam (5.175)

95. Bhutan (5.082)

96. Cameroon (5.044)

97. Bulgaria (5.011)

98. Ghana (4.996)

99. Ivory Coast (4.944)

100. Nepal (4.913)

101. Jordan (4.906)

102. Benin (4.883)

103. Congo (Brazzaville) (4.812)

104. Gabon (4.799)

105. Laos (4.796)

106. South Africa (4.722)

107. Albania (4.719)

108. Venezuela (4.707)

109. Cambodia (4.700)

110. Palestinian Territories (4.696)

111. Senegal (4.681)

112. Somalia (4.668)

113. Namibia (4.639)

114. Niger (4.628)

115. Burkina Faso (4.587)

116. Armenia (4.559)

117. Iran (4.548)

118. Guinea (4.534)

119. Georgia (4.519)

120. Gambia (4.516)

121. Kenya (4.509)

122. Mauritania (4.490)

123. Mozambique (4.466)

124. Tunisia (4.461)

125. Bangladesh (4.456)

126. Iraq (4.437)

127. Congo (Kinshasa) (4.418)

128. Mali (4.390)

129. Sierra Leone (4.374)

130. Sri Lanka (4.366)

131. Myanmar (4.360)

132. Chad (4.350)

133. Ukraine (4.332)

134. Ethiopia (4.286)

135. Swaziland (4.212)

136. Uganda (4.189)

137. Egypt (4.166)

138. Zambia (4.107)

139. Togo (4.085)

140. India (4.015)

141. Liberia (3.975)

142. Comoros (3.973)

143. Madagascar (3.933)

144. Lesotho (3.802)

145. Burundi (3.775)

146. Zimbabwe (3.663)

147. Haiti (3.597) 

148. Botswana (3.488)

149. Syria (3.462)

150. Malawi (3.410)

151. Yemen (3.380)

152. Rwanda (3.334)

153. Tanzania (3.231)

154. Afghanistan (3.203)

155. Central African Republic (3.083)

156. South Sudan (2.853)