Every year the United Nations publishes the World Happiness Report, analysing data from the previous three years to compile a list of the happiest countries in the world. This year the report is slightly different – only data gathered in 2020 has been used, to create a list of the happiest countries in the world during the Coronavirus pandemic. For the fourth year in a row, Finland has been named the happiest country in the world.

The Happiest Countries in the World

  1. Finland
  2. Iceland
  3. Denmark
  4. Switzerland
  5. Netherlands
  6. Sweden
  7. Germany
  8. Norway
  9. New Zealand
  10. Austria

The Nordic countries typically fare well in this report. Denmark and Norway have both previously been named the World’s Happiest Countries while Sweden and Iceland also usually rank in the top ten. The way of life, work-life balance and importance given to spending time outside among nature in the Nordic countries all helps to contribute to the overall happiness of their residents.

Senior Director of International Marketing at Business Finland, Helo Jimenez, released a press release to discuss the announcement. “Finnish happiness isn’t skin deep and immediately visible,” he said. “Sustainable happiness is our superpower, and it means we tend to take life as it comes – a trait that is helping us through these challenging times.

Jimernez further explained how Finns enjoy a slower pace of living, making the most of the smaller moments in life rather than rushing through each day. “We appreciate the small things in our daily lives, such as sitting quietly on a bench and staring at the empty lake after a relaxing sauna session or taking a morning dip in the sea before starting the working day.

These are the Happiest Countries in the World - The Wise Traveller - Finland - Picnic

Visit Finland attribute Finnish happiness to the nation’s love of spending time outdoors among the beautiful nature that exists throughout their country. 75% of land is covered by forest and there are over 180,000 lakes scattered throughout the country, providing endless beautiful scenery to explore. Residents of Finland love to spend time outdoors, reconnecting with nature, foraging, horseback riding, kayaking, hiking, and spending time in a sauna.

A factor which may have contributed to overall happiness in Finland during the pandemic is a national spirit for thriving in tough times, known as sisu. Sisu is all about enduring hard times and viewing challenges as opportunities and can be seen in most Finns attitude to the harsh, cold weather and long, dark nights that the country experiences during the winter months. Even during their long winters, Finns tend to spend a lot of time outdoors, making the most of the beautiful nature that surrounds them. This attitude is sure to have helped the nation adapt to the pandemic over the past year.

The report focused on analysing the effects of the pandemic of people’s lives, as well as evaluating governments around the world have dealt with the pandemic, making an attempt to explain why some countries have done better than others.

Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.