People enjoying a sunny day at the Esplanade in Helsinki, Finland. Photo: Reuters

Singapore, 15 March 2018 – Happy are the people of the Nordic nations – happier, in fact, than anyone else in the world. And the overall happiness of a country is almost identical to the happiness of its immigrants.

Those are the main conclusions of the World Happiness Report 2018, released on Wednesday (March 14).

Finland is the happiest country in the world, it found, followed by Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia.

Though in a different order, this is the same top 10 as last year, when Norway was No. 1 and Finland was fifth.

Singapore comes in at 34th. It was ranked 26th in the World Happiness Report 2017, four rungs lower than in 2016.

Taiwan, at No. 26, is the only area in Asia ranked above Singapore. Malaysia is ranked 35th.

As for the United States, it is 18th out of 156 countries surveyed – down four spots from last year’s report and five from 2016’s.

The report was produced by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Explaining why one country is happier than another is a dicey business, but the report cites six significant factors: gross domestic product per capita, social support, life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and corruption levels.