Finland is Still the World's Happiest Country

This Scandinavian country has topped the list for the past six years.


Happy Finns enjoying nature.

(Aleksandra Suzi /

The World Happiness Report is out and Finland is in first place, again. The report, which was released on March 20, 2023 – on World Happiness Day – ranks the countries where people are most content with their lives.

The United Nations first launched the Happiness Report in 2012,  in order to find out what exactly makes people happy so that policies can be made to increase wellbeing around the globe, reported CNN Traveler.


How do you measure happiness?
The World Happiness report looks at  six key factors that can impact happiness: freedom, health, social support, income, generosity, and the absence of corruption. The report surveys over 150 countries, according to Native Planet.

The report, which is published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network of the UN considers all the factors of the quality of life in determining rank. In fact, the ranks are determined by people who give ratings about their own lives on the Cantril scale.

The scale is essentially a ladder where people can assess their self-satisfaction from one to 10 with 10 being the happiest, according to CNN. Of course, outside factors can help to increase or decrease a country's rank, including war, famine, and other life altering factors.

But Finland has managed to stay on top of the list for six years. The other countries that are in the top 10 include: Denmark, Iceland, Israel, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and New Zealand, according to the report. Other English-speaking countries came in at 12 (Australia), 13 (Canada), 15 (US) and 19 (UK).

Why Finland?
So what makes Finland the world’s happiest country? You would think with cold weather and a lack of sunlight during the winter, Finland would not be as desirable as countries with better climates. But, Forbes reported, that is not the case.

Finland has a well-functioning democracy, universal healthcare, progressive taxation, quality education, good work/life balance – with four-weeks of vacation every year –, and extensive social welfare benefits. But there is more to it than just government policies.

There is a high level of trust in the country with a full 80 percent of Finns reporting that they trust their police force. Finns who lose wallets or leave computers on trains expect them to be found and returned.

There is also an appreciation of nature. A 2021 survey found that 87 percent of Finns feel that nature is important to them because it provides relaxation and peace of mind. With densely built cities, most Finns live within walking distance to parks, according to CNBC.

With values like that, its no wonder that Finland ranks so high in the Happiness Report. This is something that can be emulated by other countries to make a happier world.

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