Finland finishes first for the second year running as the Happiest Nation in the world

Finland was named the happiest nation on earth for the second consecutive year in the UN’s World Happiness Report 2019 recently. The margin of victory was even greater this year with Finland beating second-ranked Denmark by .169 compared to .38 the previous year ahead of Norway. Rounding off, the rest of the top 10 countries that have consistently ranked among the happiest are Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Canada and Austria.

Published by the United Nations, the report ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. Based on the report, the Finns’ happiness can be credited to their high GDP, long lifespan, connection with nature, lack of corruption and the people’s control over their own life, among other things.

Markku Ojanen, Finnish Emeritus professor of psychology, an expert on happiness, believes Finn’s secret is their ability to enjoy ordinary life. Ojanen said, “Our northern climate has taught us to work hard and cherish the times when things are going well. Finnish people are also typically very honest, and Finland is one of the safest countries in the world. Safety and trust are key elements for happiness.”

This summer, travellers have a chance to discover happiness with the locals in Finland. Through their new Rent a Finn initiative, Visit Finland is inviting people from around the world to see how the Finns live in true harmony with nature.

Paavo Virkkunen, Head of Visit Finland at Business Finland said, “Our Rent a Finn campaign is a response to the global travel trend of living like a local, which is all about sharing genuine experiences with regular people. It allows travellers to experience the Finns’ strong, personal connection to nature with the help of our happiness guides.”

The Rent a Finn initiative has initially enlisted 80 Finns to work as happiness guides for travellers. The guides, who were chosen from among hundreds of applicants, will host visitors for a few days and show their own ways of relieving stress in the lap of nature.

Visit Finland has already had 755 video applications from 78 countries for the Rent a Finn campaign, with the country predicting 1000 applications by next week. USA tops the rankings with the most applications followed by Bangladesh, Turkey and Canada with the UK in fifth spot.

The visits will take place during summer 2019 and will be free of charge for the travellers. The application period for guests was open until April 14.