What makes Finland the happiest country in the world…yet again?

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What makes Finland the happiest country in the world…yet again?

What makes Finland the happiest country in the world…yet again?

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”, said Abraham Lincoln. Looks like people in some countries seem to have made up their minds…to be happy.

Gallup World Poll ranks three-time winner, Finland, as the happiest country in the whole world. The Nordic nation is followed by Iceland, Denmark, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and Norway.

World Happiness Report, launched in 2012, is a survey of the state of global happiness that ranks 149 countries to evaluate how happy the people of these countries perceive themselves to be and then correlate it with other factors, like GDP and social security. The ranking is done based on questions from the Gallup World Poll.

Interestingly, Purdue University and the University of Virginia analyzed World Gallup Poll data in 2018 to conclude that people with higher incomes looked at themselves and their lives more favourably than those with lower incomes, indicating a clear link between happiness and socioeconomic status.

However, the report also noted that once an individual hit the threshold for life satisfaction, any additional increase in wealth would cease to contribute to happiness.

But what makes Finland the happiest country in the world? Not the weather for sure! Here are a few reasons that can be attributed:

  • Progressive taxation and wealth redistribution, which enables free healthcare, free quality education etc.
  • Lower corruption levels
  • Good work-life balance
  • A strong commitment to gender equality.
  • A flat working model, essentially meaning little or no hierarchal levels between staff and management, enabling open communication between departments.
  • ‘Sisu’, a Finnish philosophy that roughly translates in English as ‘stoic determination’, resilience and grit. Sisu is a term which dates back several hundred years and is described as being essential to understanding the culture of Finland.

It is remarkable that even with the pandemic, Finland has been able to maintain the top spot, while none of the world’s largest economies made it to the top ten ranks.