If you’ve threatened to move out of the United States at least once this year, raise your hand. It was not surprising to learn that the U.S. is not one of the Top 10 happiest countries according to the 2018 World Happiness Report. We actually slid in at #18 — four pegs lower than our standing last year.
According to the report, Finland is actually the happiest country in the world. And, thanks to the political and social strife currently plaguing America, we’re honestly considering a move to Finland right about now. We want to go to there.
A huge factor that played into the 2018 World Happiness Report was the happiness of immigrants. A total of 156 countries were ranked, and those rankings were based on income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust, and generosity — for immigrants and the population as a whole.
Finland has both the happiest immigrants and the happiest overall population. So what’s their secret? It’s their social democracy, according to the report’s editor, Dr. Jeffrey D. Sachs, via The New York Times. Finland and the other Top 10 countries operate under social democracies working to benefit the people with “solid social support systems” and great public services, which citizens are happy paying higher taxes for, Dr. Sachs explains.
If you’re looking to become a citizen of Finland (because who isn’t right now?), you must verify your identity and brush up on your Finnish language skills. You’ll also need to have lived in Finland on another residency permit for a significant amount of time and have a reliant source of income.
One can actually apply for several different types of residency permits based on situation and timeline. Finland also offers permits to those seeking asylum and to victims of human trafficking.
You can learn more about attaining citizenship and Finland’s immigration policy on the Finnish Immigration Service website.
Blake Fleetwood wrote in a 2013 article for The Huffington Post that Americans have a better chance of attaining the American Dream in Finland than in America. Gender equality, a higher annual income rate, and equal education opportunities make living in Finland as an American — or as a former resident of any country — kind of a dream come true.
If you were wondering which nation ranked last on the World Happiness Report, we’re sad to say that Burundi in East Africa slid into the 156th slot. Burundi’s leader, President Pierre Nkurunziza, just recently changed his own title from “eternal supreme guide” to “visionary” earlier this week, according to news.ABS-CBN.com.
So it looks like Finland is the place to ship off to if you’re looking for a happier life. But if moving abroad isn’t something feasible, let’s try working together to get the United States in the Top 10.