Finland is the happiest country in the world for a fourth year running
For the fourth year in a row, Finland is number one when it comes to happiness. The country consistently ranks among the top education systems in the world, occasionally beaten out by countries like South Korea, Japan, and Singapore. Much of that success comes from a widespread reverence for teachers, who are required to have a master’s degree (their education is state-funded), and a pedagogical system that focuses less on quantitative testing and more on experiential learning and equal opportunity.
Finland also ranked very high on the measures of mutual trust that have helped to protect lives and livelihoods during the pandemic. As it was stated in the CERI study, education and an excellent state of remote work culture –where trust is essential, are core strengths of Finland, and these factors have also been noticed in this study.
Happiness is a difficult thing to measure, but one initiative at the United Nations has been trying to figure it out. Every year, the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network publishes its World Happiness Report—a study that examines the connections between happiness and development, all while encouraging policymakers to place more of an emphasis on the former. Around 1,000 people in each U.N. member state rate their quality of life on a scale from 0 to 10, while researchers cull data from six areas: GDP per capita, life expectancy, social support, trust and corruption, perceived freedom to make life decisions, and generosity. The World Happiness Report 2021 was released recently, and while the results follow previous trends (every Nordic country made the cut)—the list is a little more interesting amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The report paid special attention to evaluate how different governments have dealt with the pandemic, and how trust in said governments is directly related to overall happiness.
According to the report, the ten happiest countries are:
- New Zealand