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UAE, Saudi, Qatar climb Bahrain, Kuwait fall in happiness ranking

UAE, Saudi, Qatar climb Bahrain, Kuwait fall in happiness ranking

The study also ranked countries’ expatriate populations for happiness for the first time this year

The UAE remains the Arab world’s happiest nation after climbing one place to 20th in a global study, amid a mixed performance from its Gulf peers.

The World Happiness Report, produced by Columbia University’s Earth Institute and the United Nations Sustainable Development Network, showed the country performed particularly well on the life assessment index, ranking 11th, and was first in the world for six indicators.

The emirates previously stood in 14th in the 2013 index and has a goal of entering the top five as part of its Vision 2021 objectives.

However, a change in the Gallup polling system used in the study, which changed its methodology to sample the non-Emirati population, saw its rank drop to 20th in 2015 and 28th in 2016 before recovering to 21st last year. The same change affected Gulf peers Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain.

Read: UAE climbs to 21st in 2017 world happiness ranking

This year Qatar climbed the happiness ranking to reach 32nd from 35th in 2017 and Saudi Arabia reached 33rd from 37th previously but Bahrain dropped two places to 43rd and Kuwait dropped to 45th from 39th. Oman isn’t included in the list due to a lack of data.

The UAE’s overall score of 6.774 placed it just behind the UK with 6.814 and the US with 6.886. Finland was ranked the world’s happiest nation followed by Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia.

At the bottom of the list stood Burundi in 156th with the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Tanzania, Yemen, Rwanda, Syria, Liberia, Haiti, Malawi and Botswana occupying the places above.

For the first time in 2018 the study also measured the happiness of expatriate populations in different countries.

Under this metric the UAE stood 19th in the world ahead of the UK, Germany, Singapore, France and Belgium.

It was a similar story among the other Gulf countries, with many performing better in their expatriate score than their combined happiness score.

Qatar stood in 26th, Bahrain 33rd, Kuwait 34th and Saudi 35th based on the expat metric.

There was little change at the top of the list though with Finland still first for expat happiness, Denmark in second, Norway third, Iceland fourth and New Zealand fifth.

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