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    Seventh Heaven in Suomi: UN Says Finland is World’s Happiest Country

    CC0 / Dave_S. / Mettälä, Christmas day 2008
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    An annual survey published by the Sustainable Development Solutions of the United Nations revealed that Finland is the world’s happiest country, based on factors like life expectancy, social support and corruption.

    "Well, our politics and our economics. I think the basics are quite good in Finland," said Sofia Holm, 24-year-old resident of Helsinki, the capital of Finland. "So, yes, we have the perfect circumstances to have a happy life here in Finland," she told AP. 

    The report evaluated 117 countries for happiness by also analyzing the wellbeing of its immigrants.

    Despite its cold weather, in 2015 more than a million immigrant applicants came to Finland, although only a few thousand were permitted to enter the relatively homogeneous country.

    According to John Helliwell, a co-editor of the World Happiness Report and professor emeritus of economics at the University of British Columbia, the top-10 happiest countries in the world had the happiest immigrants as well. The top 10 countries include Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia.

    The US fell on the UN happiness scale, from 14th place last year to 18th place.

    "The US is in the midst of a complex and worsening public health crisis, involving epidemics of obesity, opioid addiction, and major depressive disorder that are all remarkable by global standards," the report stated.

    Meik Wiking, CEO of the Copenhagen-based Happiness Research Institute, said the five Nordic countries that have high happiness indexes "are doing something right in terms of creating good conditions for good lives."

    According to Wiking, happiness is related to ample personal freedoms and social security, as well as low taxes.

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    immigrant rights, study, happiness, UN, Finland
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