BREAKING: Icelanders No Longer Happiest People In The World - The Reykjavik Grapevine

BREAKING: Icelanders No Longer Happiest People In The World

Published March 20, 2018

Photos by
Magnús Andersen

Iceland is still in the top ten for the world’s happiest countries, but it is no longer in the top slot. Encouragingly, though, immigrants and locals alike are just as happy to be here.

According to the World Happiness Report (WRH), a comprehensive index that measures satisfaction by GDP, social support, individual freedom and other factors, Finns are the happiest people in the world, topping the index. These are followed by Norwegians and Danes, and then Icelanders.

This takes Iceland down one slot, from the third position held the year previous.

Taking a closer look at the data, a contributing factor in what might account for decreasing happiness in Iceland is the public perception of corruption in the country. The top four countries all scored very similarly when it came to income, social support, freedom and life expectancy, but Iceland distinguished itself in that perception of corruption played a more diminished role in accounting for their happiness; given recent reports about the high levels of corruption in Iceland, the corruption perception understandably did not play a strong part in how happy Icelanders reported they were.

More encouragingly, immigrants in Iceland are just as happy, or just as unhappy, as the locals are. WRH outlines several factors for this: the happiness of the locals, the happiness of people in the immigrant’s home country, and how well received immigrants are.

All this being the case, Iceland still ranked fourth out of a possible 156 countries, making the country nonetheless pretty happy overall in the scheme of things.

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