You may be surprised to learn which country has dominated the World Happiness Report over the last decade.
It is neither the wealthiest nor a place that could be called a sun destination.
Nonetheless, Finland has a lot to brag about after five consecutive years at the top.
According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute, certain regions of the country only receive 1300 hours of daylight annually. However, this does not appear to dampen the cheerful disposition of those in eastern Lapland.
Researchers from the Universities of British Columbia and Alberta concluded that something else must be at play.
“Finland continues to hold the top position, with a score significantly higher than other countries in the top ten,” the report stated, adding five Nordic nations, including Denmark in second place and Iceland in third.
Europe accounted for eight of the top ten happiest nations, with Israel and New Zealand completing the top ten.
The study also revealed a distinction in internal happiness based on place of birth. The average happiness index score of expatriates was 0.2 points lower than that of native-born residents. However, this homesickness tax was more than compensated for in the majority of Northern European nations.
Anu Partanen, author of The Nordic Theory of Everything, summed up the region’s general goodwill as follows: “In Finland and the Nordic countries, people are very fortunate because society still supports a shock-absorbing system,” he told AP. With a robust public health response, it specifically helped to cushion the societies during the pandemic.
From Helsinki to Kilpisjarvi in the north, the Scandinavians were the clear leaders of the pack.
What does Finland have to say about happiness? Finns consume an astounding 12 kilograms of coffee per capita, making them one of the world’s most caffeinated populations.
In spite of a slight decline in consumption in 2021, a recent Harvard University study concluded that coffee consumption can reduce depression by up to one-third.
Although caffeine dependence can result in mood swings and irritability, it is likely that the WHR’s Finnish respondents were freshly caffeinated.
Helsinki is renowned for its cafe culture. Stop by El Fant on the corner of Helsingin Tuomiokirkko for a cup of tea and a slice of Mustikkapiirakka blueberry tart.