Why Finns and Nordic folks are so happy?

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Traditionally countries were always been indexed for several economic and social factors like population, GDP, currency, and much more. But for the first time in the world, an Asian country started accounting for the happiness of their people with Gross Happiness Index (GNH) in 2008. It was none other than Bhutan.

Inspired by Bhutan’s take on Happiness, the United Nations passed a resolution with which the first report of the World Happiness Index came out in 2012. The noticeable point among all of these reports starting from 2012 till 2023 is that Nordic countries have always charted the list. And Finland, Denmark is among the top three every single time.

So what is so great about Finland, Denmark, or about Nordic countries in general, that the people living in these countries are so happy?

Let’s find out…


Finland, a country in the northern parts of Europe has been titled as the Happiest country in the world for the last 5 years. But what makes the 5.5 million population so happy? Is it a marvelous natural landscape? or a peak level of living standards?

When we talk about the Happiness of a people of a country, it usually has a correlation with social factors such as earnings, education, healthcare, work-life balance, etc. So let’s understand one by one how good is Finland on these factors.

Finland’s Economy and Earnings

Finland is a small and free economy that largely depends on exports. The leading sectors are Metalworks, Manufacturing, electronics, chemical, and forest industry.

They infuse heavy investments in R&D, innovation, and technologies. This is why some of the popular names like Nokia, Linux, Angry Birds Game creator Rovio, and another popular game Clash of Clans creator Supercell are based out of Finland.

The earning of Finns people are more than the European standards. The per capita income of Finland in 2023 is $60,897. Which is the 23rd highest in the world. The poverty rate is also in check at 0.2%. Similarly, they also have a very generous social welfare system that takes care of the unemployed, or who cannot work because of some illness or disability, etc.

Education System

Finns education system

Finland’s education system is considered the best-developed education system in the world. It highly emphasizes childhood education which concretes the core and helps the children to get a good start in their academic careers.

The Education system in Finland is very different than what we see in the United States, or even in the whole world. It is mostly based on practical experience, projects, and field trips. The traditional standardized test and the burden of excessive homework are something they don’t usually worry about.

This helps them to open up their abilities to develop skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving. A simple example would be to allow them to read a story within a book and come up with their own learnings while teachers can just ask them to explain their thoughts.

Another key aspect is that Teachers in Finland are very highly qualified and trained that’s because it is one of the basic criteria to become a teacher. Similarly, they are very respected among people.

There are no private schools in Finland thus every school is state-funded. Every school receives equal financial aid to run the school. This ensures everyone will have access to the same high level of quality education across the country.

If we study more in-depth, we can cover an entire article only on ‘Education in Finland’. There is so much learning available for the entire world’s education system. So that’s for another day.

But for now, you can check out an amazing video on Finland schools covered by ABC News Australia


Just like the education system, Finland is also renowned for its affordable, comprehensive, and quality healthcare system. Since the education quality is the same across the country, every doctor has access to the same quality education.

Just like every country, Finland also has two types of health care i.e. Public and Private.

Public healthcare is state-run and more affordable as compared to Private but the quality of treatment will be the same across both of them.

Healthcare in Finland works on a model of a decentralized healthcare system.

The primary care service will be provided by the local municipal hospitals and later if needed you will be referred to major hospitals. In case of emergency, you can also reach out to the major hospitals directly.

Various Healthcare Educational programs are run to bring awareness among people about preventive health measures, health check-ups, and lifestyle. This also gives us a reason to say that Finland is a country with the lowest rates of chronic diseases such as Diabetes, and Heart disease. And it has the highest utilization rate for mental treatment, shows they take mental health seriously

Overall Life

Life in Fnland

Work-life balance is highly prioritized in Finland. The country offers generous benefits such as Parental Leaves to create a bond with their children, Flexible working hours for working people, and daycare services free of charge to children under six years old.

If we talk about children studying in schools, their usual school hours are less, as this helps them to spend more time with families. There is no homework assigned to children till the age of 16 years. Schools also foster real values and family relationships among children.

Finland has a gender-neutral stand in almost everything and this can be learned by the fact that they have their own personal pronoun called Hän which does not specify the subject is He or she and treats everyone equally.

The crime rate in this Schengen country is quite low and kept declining drastically from the 1990s to the present time.

Finnish are quite generous which means if you lost your money wallet somewhere, you can expect to be returned by someone

The life expectancy in Finland is 82.48 years and it has kept increasing by 0.2% over the last two to three years.

Highly enclosed within nature, the Country gives amazing benefits for outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, fishing, exploring the natural beauty, and whatnot.


To sum up, everything that we got to know, Finnish happiness is based on the belief and trust in their institution. The result of the country’s commitment to Healthcare, Education, and overall Social welfare. They are the most generous and contentful people and enjoy being alone.

So Finland is actually not the happiest country if we think the Happiest country means Positive and Joyful. The weather can be extreme and dark in the country, especially in winter and we cannot ignore the fact that many people feel isolated as it is considered as difficult to meet new people, especially in winter. Thus many people especially foreigners have complained of feeling isolated.

The suicide rate in Finland is also on the higher side and ranks 9th country with the highest depression rates.

But on the other side, Finland is the happiest country because Finns proved that happiness is possible when you feel safe, secure, and supported by the community. By prioritizing the well-being of people instead of focusing purely on economic indicators.

Hope you liked this article. To learn more about such interesting topics check out the Life section at ConceptDive.

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