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Can you guess which is the happiest country in the world?

The UN’s World Happiness Report is out, and one Nordic country has topped it for the fourth year running

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver

For obvious reasons, it’s been pretty hard to keep our spirits up this past year. But in one particular country, happiness still appears to have come quite naturally – even in hella fraught times.

With its beautiful Arctic landscapes, rich heritage of foraging and fondness for outdoor swimming and saunas, Finland certainly sounds like some sort of utopian dreamland. And now this small Nordic nation has been named the happiest country in the world… again.

The United Nations’ annual World Happiness Report shifted its focus slightly in 2020, looking more closely at the effects of the past year and how people around the world have coped. But even despite those changes, Finland still ranked number one – for the fourth year in a row, in fact.

The report’s authors said this could be because Finland has always ranked very high on mutual trust and confidence in government, which have likely been crucial in creating collective warm-and-fuzzy feelings over the past year.

Oh, and it’s not just Finland. The entire Nordic region always seems to smash these sorts of rankings, and this year they once again dominate the upper end of the list – even if certain Scandinavian countries haven’t done such a bang-up job on the whole virus front.

The rest of the top ten is made up of wealthier European countries and good ol’ New Zealand.

Responding to the findings, Heli Jimenez, of Business Finland, said: ‘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.’ Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s all very #wellness.

Here is the top ten in full:

1. Finland 🇫🇮
2. Iceland 🇮🇸
3. Denmark 🇩🇰
4. Switzerland🇨🇭
5. Netherlands 🇳🇱
6. Sweden 🇸🇪
7. Germany 🇩🇪
8. Norway 🇳🇴
9. New Zealand 🇳🇿
10. Austria 🇦🇹

So now you’ve got plenty of inspiration for your next trip abroad… or maybe even a more permanent move. After all, as they say in Finland: Elät vaan kerran, mut jos elät oikein se riittää.

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