Think you’re pretty happy, do ya? Think you have a just about acceptable quality of life? Well, that all pales in comparison to the fun and larks they’re having in Finland, mate, which has just been officially declared the happiest country in the world.
The World Happiness Report, authored by the UN, measures countries on a number of criteria including average income, life expectancy, self-reported wellbeing, freedom, trust and generosity – and also takes into account more negative factors like corruption or high levels of crime.
Unsurprisingly, countries experiencing war, ethnic cleansing and coups are less happy: Burundi is the least happy country in the world, followed by Rwanda, Yemen, Tanzania, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
Nordic countries – Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Sweden – were particularly happy, all taking spots in the top ten.
“In the Nordic countries in general, we pay some of the highest taxes in the world, but there is wide public support for that because people see them as investments in quality of life for all,” Meik Wiking of the Happiness Research Institute in Denmark told The Guardian.
“Free healthcare and university education goes a long way when it comes to happiness. In the Nordic countries, Bernie Sanders is not viewed as progressive – he is just common sense.”
If you, specifically, are looking to experience joy: bad luck, because the UK isn’t in the top ten, instead coming in at a – frankly fairly rubbish – 19th. The US doesn’t fare much better, slipping down to 18th on the list because of its problems with “substance abuse, obesity and depression”.
The top ten was as follows:
- New Zealand
The best Airbnbs in Finland
Oulo loft house
Wooden house, Helsinki
Described as an “artist’s residence”, this quirky wooden house costs £55 a night – check it out here.
Designer studio flat, Helsinki
Located in the heart of Helsinki’s design district, this studio apartment is £69 a night. Nice.
Mid century loft, Helsinki
This flat is full of mid-century furniture and even features an 8th floor balcony overlooking the city. It costs £59 per night – check it out here.
1 bed flat, Helsinki
This stylish 1 bed is in the centre of Helsinki and costs £40 a night.
Studio flat for two, Helsinki
This studio flat is located near Helsinki’s National Museum, The Finlandia hall, Music Hall and Rock Church, and costs £58 a night.
Studio flat with sauna, Helsinki
This studio, £66 a night, even has its own sauna.
Art nouveau seaside studio flat
This flat sits in a city centre location, is also close to the seaside and costs £64 a night.
(Images: Tommaso Fornoni / Joakim Honkasalo / Unsplash / Airbnb)