Finland named world's happiest country for fourth consecutive year
The country's strong connection to nature and wellness are seen as key to keeping the population so cheery
The frosty Nordic nation of Finland has been named the happiest country in the world by the United Nations World Happiness Report for a record-breaking fourth year in a row.
Taking the spot every year since the 2018 edition of the report, published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, they key to Finland's consistent happiness is a topic for debate. But to many it can be attributed to the population's connection with nature and the outdoors - over 90% of Finland is covered in either forest or water.
"Finnish happiness isn’t skin deep and immediately visible – it’s deeply engrained in our being. 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," explains Heli Jimenez, Senior Director, International Marketing at Business Finland. "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."
In summer and autumn, Finland is the perfect spot to explore the nearby forests and waters for fresh, wild food. This includes berries, mushrooms, wild herbs and vegetables. Whilst fishing is a popular year-round activity. Plus, Finland’s burgeoning restaurant scene and use of fresh ingredients and delicious flavours is placing Finland on the gastronomic food map.
Wandering the forests and fields for food may seem like a simple act but foraging can be peaceful, rewarding, educational and fun. It can also offer a therapeutic focus, helping people to slow down and appreciate the surrounding natural world.
Furthermore, Finland is the land of 188,000 beautiful lakes. For active travellers, there is no better way to explore the beauty and serenity of the Finnish landscape than by paddling across the lakes by canoe or kayak. Explore Lake Oulujärvi by steamship or by shore on an Icelandic horse or travel down to the heart of Finland to experience Lake Saimaa, home to the Saimaa Ringed Seal - one of the rarest and most endangered seals in the world.
Plus, Finland’s unlikely national pastime of plunging into ice cold water following a sauna or ice swimming is known to energise the body and improve overall happiness and wellbeing.
Head to visitfinland.com for more information.