Finland is the World’s Happiest Country for the 7th Straight Year

This Nordic country wants to share its secret for happiness.

Mar 23, 2024


Finland is the World’s Happiest Country for the 7th Straight Year | This Nordic country wants to share its secret for happiness.

The land of the northern lights and long summer days has another distinction. The people of Finland are very content and satisfied with their lives. So content that Finland was named the world’s happiest country for the seventh straight year in a row by the World Happiness Report.

This annual report, was released on the UN’s International Day of Happiness, ranks countries according to self-assessed questions about the quality of life using a ladder system in six different variables, reported CNBC. These categories include: freedom, social support, generosity, GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, along with the freedom from corruption. These factors influence happiness more than economic growth.

Finland took the top spot with a score of 7.741 on a zero to 10 scale. But this year’s survey for the report that is published by the Wellbeing Research Centre at the University of Oxford was different than in previous years. This report included separate rankings by age groups, reported CNN.

Why Finland?
The report is important because it asks people to score what they value in life. How well a country takes care of its citizens and how much freedom they have figures in with how happy people are. In 2024, Finland took the top spot and Afghanistan the lowest.

So besides beautiful nature, why are the people in Finland so happy? It’s certainly not the climate. 

The survey asks people to score their life by what they value and it is the social conditions that matter the most, according to John Helliwell, emeritus professor of economics at the Vancouver School of Economics, University of British Columbia, and a founding editor of the World Happiness Report.

He told CNN, “You find out Finland’s pretty rich in all of those things, like wallets being returned if they’re dropped in the street, people helping each other day in and day out, very high quality and universally distributed health and education opportunities — so everyone more or less comes out of the starting gate the same.”

The other Scandinavian countries also scored very well, so there is something to be said for hygge (Denmark was number two), literacy (Iceland was number three), and environmentalism (Sweden was  number four).

Can happiness be learned?
While happiness is something people aspire to obtain, can it be learned? Visit Finland, the country’s official tourism marketing site believes it can and that is why it unveiled the Happiness Hacks initiative for people to unlock their inner Finn.

During the initiative, a group of travelers will be chosen to learn happiness hacks in Helsinki from June 9-14. People who are interested in attending have until April 4, 2024 to apply. There is a two-step process that includes filling out an online form and a social media challenge.

But you do not have to travel to Finland to learn how to be happier. You can take Yale’s happiness course online to discover the science of wellbeing. The course which began in 2018, can be audited through Coursera. Happiness, like other skills, can be learned and shared.

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Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.