top of page

Why Finns Are the Happiest People on Earth

Beth Bradford

4/3/23, 11:23 AM

Have you ever wondered why Finns are the happiest people on Earth? It may be difficult to understand, but if you pay close attention, you’ll soon learn why they are the envy of so many people around the world.

Finland consistently ranks higher than other countries in surveys that measure quality of life, happiness and wellbeing. But what is it about Finns that make them so happy? Well, there are several factors that contribute to Finland’s high ranking in these surveys.

For starters, Finns have a strong sense of community and trust in their government. They also enjoy free healthcare and free education up to a university level and benefit from an effective social safety net. And finally, Finland has one of the most efficient public transport networks in the world which helps to reduce stress levels among its citizens.

In this article, we will explore all these reasons and more as to why Finns are so content with their lives.

How Finland Measures Up in the UN’s World Happiness Report

You may be wondering: How does Finland measure up in the UN’s World Happiness Report? For six consecutive years, Finland has taken the top spot as the happiest country in the world. According to the report, which assessed 156 countries, Finland scored significantly above its peers.

The World Happiness Report is a publication of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network which ranks member countries according to a variety of factors including GDP per capita, life expectancy, social support and freedom from corruption. Finland particularly excelled in these areas, scoring highly for its citizen’s generosity levels and trust in government institutions. Additionally, Finland’s high employment rate and low level of income inequality were cited as reasons for its title of “happiest country”.

What is Sisu?

The term "sisu" is often credited for the Finnish people's attitude towards life. Simply put, sisu is a concept of inner strength and determination, which has been described as the word that explains Finnish success stories. It is an unwavering resilience in the face of adversity, allowing Finns to persevere against all odds and to keep going even in the darkest days—and it's something Finlands are justly proud of.

Sisu can be seen in many aspects of life for Finns: from their fierce attitude towards the cold Nordic winters to the uncompromising determination with which they take decisions. It's an inspiring virtue, and one that has inspired a range of products and merchandise, from magnets to mugs and t-shirts.

In essence, it is this attitude—combined with long-standing social policies including free healthcare, free education, robust welfare support, and high taxes—that makes Finland not just one of the happiest countries on Earth but one of its most successful too.

What Makes Finnish Happiness Unique

Finnish happiness is more than just a feeling of joy - it's characterized as contentedness and inner peace. A sense of community is at the core of this feeling, which can be seen in how they approach health.

Finland's strong social system ensures essential early needs like schooling and safety. The educational system provides equal access to all its citizens from early childhood onwards, with children as young as three years old being able to attend "preschool". Additionally, thanks to its well-established public safety policies, Finland is also one of the safest countries in the world.

This combination of good health practices, effective policies and economic backing make Finland an ideal environment for living a full and happy life.

The Importance of Nature in Finnish Contentment

The Finns have maintained a close connection to nature that plays a significant role in their happiness. Nature is seen as a teacher and source of relaxation which is essential for happiness.

Indeed, Finland has an abundance of natural beauty that can be enjoyed for free - from forests to lakes, and from rivers to stunning landscapes. This access to nature provides Finns with the opportunity to find an escape from their day-to-day lives and simply relax while taking in the beauty of their surroundings. Studies have shown that Finland's wealth of outdoor activities available such as hiking and biking helps improve fitness, mental health and reduce stress levels – all improving overall happiness levels.

Finns are so enamored by nature that they even have an official term in their language for 'nature deficit disorder', which is used to describe the unpleasant feelings experienced by those who spend too much time disconnected from the outdoors. In this way, nature forms an integral part of the Finnish happiness equation – it is literally built into their culture.

Finland's Unique Approach to Education and Well-Being

It's no surprise that Finland is the world's happiest country, when you consider the depth and breadth of their education system. Education is a priority for Finnish citizens, with students enjoying an average of 8 hours of sleep per night – more than most countries!

Education in Finland is tailored to the individual student, with a personal education plan in place to address mental health issues if necessary. The system also focuses on more than simply academics - it is designed to prioritize children's overall well-being.

One prominent example of this approach is the Finnish anti-bullying program called KiVa. The program trains teachers, parents, and students to recognize bullying and provides tools for creating supportive learning environments.

The combination of comprehensive mental health support and an anti-bullying regime is one of many reasons why Finns are among the happiest people on Earth.

The Culture of Humility and Altruism

The people of Finland are renowned for their humility, modesty, and altruism. This is because the values of artistic altruism and scientific innovation are integrated into their culture from an early age. Finnish teens grow up with strong traditional cultural values of family, achievement, humility, and resilience which promote a sense of cooperation among citizens that contribute to maintaining the country’s high levels of happiness.

Humility in particular is heavily instilled in the culture and has been confirmed as an important characteristic of effective leadership across cultures. An emphasis on humility helps create an environment where it’s not only permissible but encouraged to ask questions and solicit feedback from others. This practice provides a safe space to express opinions while gaining valuable insight from others in order to make sound decisions.

Altruism is also deeply valued in Finland, where citizens take it upon themselves to pay it forward both professionally and personally. In fact, numerous surveys have revealed that Finns will often go out of their way to help someone else without expecting anything in return. From offering advice or a helping hand when needed, Finns demonstrate that putting other people first can lead to true happiness for oneself as well.

Practicing Gratitude to Create a Culture of Happiness

Grateful living can be a key factor in achieving greater happiness and life satisfaction. This is something the people of Finland understand well, as it is part of their culture to practice gratitude and express thanks for the things they have.

Practicing gratitude is an important part of navigating life's many challenges, and studies have shown that it has numerous benefits. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions and build strong relationships with friends and family. Additionally, clinical trials indicate that practicing gratitude can help facilitate better sleep, reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, and lower blood pressure.

So how can you tap into the power of gratitude like those in Finland? Aim to spend just 5 minutes a day counting your blessings; studies have shown that this simple practice can make one 25% happier! It's easy to get started - simply pause to savor a special moment or write down three things you're grateful for in your journal or diary each day.


It's clear that Finns prioritize what really matters, happiness, contentment and security, over material goods or worldly success. Finns also understand that meaningful relationships, humility and altruism are essential elements of true happiness. This is why Finland has remained consistently near the top of the list of the world's happiest countries, despite its sometimes intense climates or uncertain political climate.

When we can cultivate a sense of humility and altruism, instead of relying solely on material goods for happiness, we can begin to foster the same sense of contentment that the Finns have achieved. It may not be easy to emulate their culture, but it is certainly possible. By taking their lead and striving to put our well-being first, we can create a world filled with true and lasting happiness.

bottom of page