UAE is the happiest country in the Arab world, report shows

Fans of skiing saunas and Father Christmas won't be surprised to hear Finland has been named the happiest place to live. Its capital Helsinki is shown in this file

The Swiss result, like the others in the top 10, was largely influenced by healthy satisfaction levels regarding social support networks, life expectancy, life freedom, and (especially, in the Swiss case) GDP per capita.

This year's report also ranked countries by the happiness of their immigrants. Denmark, Iceland, and Switzerland rounded out the top five.

According to the World Happiness Report 2018, produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), people in Finland were the most content, over taking its neighbor Norway as the happiest place to live.

One year later, the U.N. General Assembly declared March 20 as World Happiness Day, recognizing "the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives".

"Those who move to happier countries gain, while those who move to less happy countries lose", Helliwell added. "The signs are not good for the U.S. It is getting richer and richer but not getting happier".

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The UAE is the Arab world's happiest country, according to an annual survey released on Wednesday.

Nordic and European countries normally dominate the top end of the ranking.

John Helliwell, a co-editor of the World Happiness Report and professor emeritus of economics at the University of British Columbia, said a society's happiness seems to be contagious as all the top-10 nations scored highest in overall happiness and the happiness of immigrants.

Commenting on the report, Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, based in Denmark, told HuffPost UK: "The Nordic "secret" to happiness lies in their ability to limit misery - that is, people who report very low levels of happiness".

"The attitude of immigrants is also important - if they are to find and accept opportunities to connect with the local populations, this is better for everyone", the report explained. Although set in a global context, most of the evidence and discussion are focused on the United States, where the prevalence of all three problems has been growing faster and further than in most other countries. Jeffrey Sachs of New York's Columbia University said "We obviously have a social crisis in the USA: more inequality, less trust, less confidence in government". The nation's lack of light clearly doesn't stop them finding their own rays of sunshine, though, as the Nordic nation has been named the happiest country on Earth. For both domestic and worldwide migrants, the report studies not just the happiness of the migrants and their host communities, but also of those left behind, whether in the countryside or in the source country.

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