The world’s happiest country and a global pandemic

According to the United Nations’ latest World Happiness Report, Finland is the happiest country in the world – for the third year in a row. What does this mean during a global pandemic?

The World Happiness Report 2020 ranked 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. Countries are ranked on six components of happiness: GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, sense of freedom to make life choices, generosity, and perception of corruption. Every time the World Happiness Report has published its annual ranking of countries, the five Nordic countries – Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland – have all been in the top ten.

According to the report, one reason for the success of the Nordic countries is that they are very high trust societies. When a pandemic like the coronavirus attacks a country, the residents of a high trust society naturally look for cooperative ways to work together to repair the damage and rebuild better lives. Communities that trust in each other and in public institutions are often more resilient in the face of crisis and can recover more quickly, the report said.

In Finland people can trust that they can have support when needed. The high-quality public healthcare is accessible to everyone, and the country is relatively well prepared for a pandemic as well. As a Nordic welfare country, Finland supports its citizens also financially in case of unemployment.

The coronavirus pandemic is a challenge for every country. However, the same factors that make Finland the world’s happiest country, can also help it survive the crisis. As a co-author of the report said: “In unity, we will get through this together.”


Read more:

The World Happiness Report 2020

Relocating to the happiest country in the world


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