Give me your tired, your poor … really!
While we all know Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, it would be nice to get a sense of how other places rate. And (happily?) social scientists hired by the UN have been beavering away to map out the geography of joy for some time.
Their latest effort to rank countries by happiness, the World Happiness Report 2018, suggests just how far we’ve come from the days when economists dismissed the very idea of such ranking as a violation of their sacred commitment to scientific objectivity. Along with the scorecard, the report contains cool essays on the roots of happiness (or lack thereof), including one by Jeffrey Sachs speculating on the way the pandemic of chronic diseases of affluence are undermining the good life in rich, industrialized economies.
Here, though, we offer a peek at the most timely theme of the 2018 report, the countries in which immigrants are happiest and least happy, based largely on survey data. Nativists take note: the happiness of immigrants correlates strongly with the happiness of the native-born.