Finland has once again been declared the happiest country in the world for the sixth year running, according to the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s World Happiness Report. The country’s vast wilderness, 70% of which is forest, along with thousands of lakes and the Northern Lights, contribute to its citizens’ happiness. The report used six factors – gross domestic product per capita, health, social support, freedom, generosity, and the country’s level of corruption – to measure happiness, with all of these factors playing important roles in supporting life evaluations.
The report also found that governments can measure happiness as a way to achieve better well-being and higher happiness levels for their residents. John Helliwell, one of the report’s authors, noted that Finland’s happiness could be attributed to its unique way of doing things, which other countries could emulate.
The top 10 happiest countries featured mostly European countries, with all five Scandinavian countries in the top 10. The United States ranked 15th, while Canada ranked 13th, the United Kingdom ranked 19th, and Australia ranked 12th in the happiness rankings.
The report also documented a worldwide growth of benevolence levels in 2020 and 2021, with an increase in helping strangers. Positive social environments were more prevalent than loneliness, and the gains from increases in positive social connections exceeded the well-being costs of additional loneliness, even during COVID-19. Social relationships increased significantly after the pandemic, and positive social connections and support in 2022 were twice as prevalent as loneliness in seven key countries spanning six global regions.
Overall, the report highlights the importance of measuring and prioritizing happiness as a key component of well-being, which can be achieved through various factors such as social support, freedom, and generosity.
Speaking of generosity, Finland is going to pay for 10 people to visit the European country and attend a masterclass in happiness! The lucky 10 will attend a four-day “masterclass of happiness” course at the Kuru Resort in the Finnish Lakeland region in June (Finland’s summer). To apply click here.