What makes Finland happiest country in the world for 5th straight year?

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What makes Finland happiest country in the world for 5th straight year?


Gifts for new mothers, endless parental leaves, support for the unemployed, and of course free education and healthcare, make it fun to be a Finn.

What makes Finland happiest country in the world for 5th straight year?

Finland has been crowned the happiest country in the world for the fifth straight year in an annual UN-sponsored index, while neighbouring Nordic countries also continued to rank high.

Finland’s score continued to be “significantly ahead” of the top 10 countries, the 10th World Happiness Report by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network published on March 18 showed.

Denmark ranked second, followed by Iceland. Sweden and Norway bagged the seventh and eighth positions on the list.

How are the countries ranked?

People assess their own happiness in the World Happiness Report, which usually ranks 150 countries based on several parameters, such as real GDP per capital, social support, personal freedom to make life choices, healthy life expectancy, generosity and levels of corruption in the country.

Each variable measures a populated-weighted average score on a scale of 0-10 every year over a period of three years. It is then compared with other countries. This year, 146 countries were assessed and ranked, based mostly on life evaluations from the Gallup World Poll.

The report also took into account data from social media to compare people’s emotions before and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Managing the pandemic

According to the report this year, the Nordic countries showed higher levels of personal and institutional trust and were able to better manage the coronavirus pandemic.

The Nordic countries recorded 27 deaths per 100,000 people from COVID-19 between 2020 and 2021 against 80 in the rest of Western Europe, CNBC reported.

The 10th edition of the World Happiness Report also tried to highlight the factor of balance and harmony. The citizens of Nordic countries are believed to have experienced higher levels of balance and harmony as well. About 90.4 percent of the respondents in Finland and Malta deemed their life to be in balance.

What makes the Finns and Danes so happy

“There are a lot of factors that impact happiness, everything from biology to income levels to the city they live in,” Meik Wiking, CEO of Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, told CNBC Make It.

In Finland, new mothers are gifted a new baby box with around 63 items to help with the child’s growth in the first year.

“You don’t have to buy anything for the first two-three months, except diapers,” Maria Ainamo-McDonald told CNBC.

Apart from gifts, Finland and other Nordic countries also give 10 months of parental leave, of which the father gets nine weeks. Both parents stay home for the first three weeks and the rest of the time is shared between the parents until the baby is nine months old. A parent can take stay home till the child is three years old without losing their job, although the stipend is much lower.

The government also lends their support to those who are unemployed or in-between jobs. Christina Konig Kohrsen in Denmark took an eight-month break from her job and received about $2,000 a month from the government when she was unemployed.

Apart from this, Finland and Denmark provide free education and healthcare, which are some of the biggest perks for the people living in these countries.

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