Every year, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) produces the World Happiness Report, a report in which it ranks all countries in the world according to various factors, both objective and subjective.
This report, which has been produced since 2012, has placed Finland as the happiest country in the world for 5 years in a row (between 2018 and 2022).
This comes as a surprise to many who see the Nordic country as a cold, remote and dark place where happiness levels cannot be high, but if we put aside the clichés we can see that there are a lot of reasons why Finland can be a happy country.
What makes Finland the happiest country in the world?
Nature and its role in the lives of Finnish citizens, low levels of pollution, developed education and health systems, equality and the generosity of its inhabitants are some of the factors that have made Finland the happiest country in the world.
Importance of nature
Nature plays an important role in the daily lives of Finns. All Finns have a special connection with nature and engage in many outdoor activities.
About 75% of the Finnish territory is covered with forests, so it is very easy to escape from the city and relax surrounded by nature. In addition, everyone is free to enjoy all natural spaces, regardless of who owns them.
Low pollution levels
Finland is characterised as one of the countries with the lowest pollution levels. Its policies to reduce pollution and its measures to protect the environment also play an essential role in measuring the happiness of Finns.
The people of Finland are very conscious of environmental protection and the fight against climate change, so they have various measures in place to promote recycling and avoid wasting energy, among others.
World-class education system
Education in Finland is one of the country’s highlights. Free and open access to quality education is available to all citizens, regardless of their family’s financial means.
The Finnish education system, characterised by student participation in the classroom and a high degree of personalisation, is one of the most recognised in the world. Many countries have tried to study it and transfer it to their own education systems.
Quality health and social services
As with education, health and social services are also of outstanding quality.
Medical care is free for all Finnish citizens and the health care system generally works quickly and efficiently, so that patients are well cared for.
Finland’s social services provide opportunities for people with problems. A basic income for people and families without work or income, care for elderly citizens or support for motherhood and fatherhood are some of the most important aspects of social policy in Finland.
Generosity of the people
Although Finns are often thought of as cold and reluctant to socialise, the truth is that they are quite open and always willing to help you. This support from all citizens also plays a role when it comes to studying the country’s happiness.
These are the main secrets that explain why Finland tops the list of the happiest countries in the world every year. However, the report takes into account a large number of different factors to establish the final ranking, including both the inhabitants’ own perception of happiness and objective data, including the country’s GDP and the level of corruption.