US drops in annual World Happiness ranking
© Greg Nash

The United States has dropped four spots in the latest World Happiness Report ranking.

The U.S. now holds the 18th spot in the annual ranking, which is published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a United Nations initiative.

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The report, released Wednesday, lists 156 countries by their happiness levels. The rankings are based on results from Gallup World Poll surveys. Researchers used factors including income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity to measure happiness.

Finland was ranked No. 1 in the new report, with Norway coming in second and Denmark ranking in third.

The report said that although the United States' income per capita has increased over the past century, "several of the determinants of well-being have been in decline."

"Social support networks in the U.S. have weakened over time," the report said.

"Perceptions of corruption in government and business have risen over time; and confidence in public institutions has waned."