Kiwis are happier than Aussies - report

A United Nations report says Kiwis are happier than Australians.
A United Nations report says Kiwis are happier than Australians. Photo credit: Pexels

Kiwis are officially happier than Australians, according to the United Nations.

The UN's 2018 World Happiness Report, an annual publication analysing the overall contentment of every country on earth, has been released.

New Zealand is listed as the eighth happiest nation on the planet, beating out Australia which came in at number 10.

The primary reasons for our high levels of wellbeing are the country's GDP, a healthy life expectancy and strong social support available for Kiwis. 

Taking out first place is Finland, an improvement from their fifth place ranking in 2017.

Scandinavia seems to be the happiest region in the world, with Norway, Denmark and Iceland all in the top five. Nordic countries are heralded for their progressive policies, free healthcare and education, which are believed to contribute to a higher quality of life. 

The United States has slid down the rankings since 2016, dropping five places to 18th happiest in the world. This could indicate the turbulent Trump presidency has had an impact on the nation's happiness overall.

The war-torn Syria is unsurprisingly near the bottom of the list, although there are several other countries that are even less happy, including Rwanda, Yemen and South Sudan. 

As for the unhappiest place in the world, that dubious honour goes to Burundi in east Africa. The landlocked country's history is rife with civil war, coup attempts and ethnic cleansing. 

For the first time in the annual report's history, the happiness levels of immigrants were also examined in each country. Finland also tops this list, but New Zealand is ranked fifth for the contentment of foreign-born residents.