Why do people in Nordic countries consistently rank as the happiest and what can we learn from them?

Why do people in Nordic countries consistently rank as the happiest and what can we learn from them?

When it comes to the race for happiness in Nordic countries, the Nordic nations always come out on top. In 2023, Finland won the top rank for the sixth consecutive year, followed by Iceland and Denmark. Then why do they seem so content all the time?

Others claim that this is due to their tiny, homogeneous, and prosperous size. A research report from a few years back even said it was because they are genetically predisposed to be cheerful. Yet, the World Happiness Report (WHR) contends that these ideas are fallacious Nordic countries.

First, let’s talk about money

Although all of the Nordic countries are reasonably wealthy and content, not all wealthy countries share their neighbors’ happiness. The seventh-richest country in the world, Saudi Arabia, is ranked at number 26, while one of the world’s wealthiest nations, Singapore, is ranked at number 25.

The only financial consideration is that, despite the Nordic region’s reputation for low-income inequality, there is no conclusive evidence that it is associated with high life satisfaction. Yet they have been able to demonstrate that, if wealth disparity breeds mistrust, it does so in a way that directly lowers life pleasure. Simply, people detest being taken advantage of by Nordic countries.

Must be genetics, then. Are they biologically predisposed to be happy?

Even if the response to that question was unmistakable yes, that would only provide a partial picture. Research has long suggested that genetics may contribute to why some individuals are happy with their life. That is what happiness specialists refer to as the “biomarkers” of happiness in Nordic countries.

Yet, according to research, only 30 to 40% of differences in happiness between individuals can be attributed to heredity, leaving the other 60% to 70% to environmental influences in Nordic countries.

It’s not because they are ‘small’ and ‘homogenous’ nations

The WHR writers also claim that they were unable to demonstrate a link between a nation’s population density and its citizens’ overall happiness in Nordic countries.

Also, the Nordic nations are not quite homogeneous. Finland has an approximate 8% foreign-born population, which is around the same as Denmark’s 7.5% foreign-born population. That isn’t all that, unlike nations like France, where immigrants make up about 10% of the population in Nordic countries.

If you insist that 10% is significant, research from the 2018 World Happiness Report revealed that the proportion of immigrants in a nation has no bearing on the general level of happiness among those who were born there. The 10 happiest nations had an average immigrant proportion of 17.2%, which is nearly twice as high as the average for the world’s Nordic countries.

and what is still the most crucial? Some studies demonstrate that when there are effective governmental institutions, the impact of ethnic diversity on societal trust is negligible. This brings us to the unifying principle underlying Scandinavian happiness Nordic countries: trust

How can nations be happy, Nordic style? is a question we posed to Professor John F. Helliwell, the editor of the World Happiness Report and a 25-year veteran of happiness surveys in Nordic countries.

The six important factors in the World Happiness Report are GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and corruption. He laughs, “The obvious answer is to be high on all of the six variables Nordic countries.”

“But where they [the Nordics] are truly top on, both inside their formal institutions and their private behavior, is in trust and compassion,” the author writes. What exactly does that mean in real life? This is why specialists believe the issue to be Nordic countries.

Is it because they are homogenously happy?

The World Happiness Report assessed the amount of the happiness gap between the more and less happy half of the population for the first time in 2023. A higher score indicates less disparity in satisfaction.

The Nordic nations all have high equality rankings, therefore there is hardly any difference in people’s levels of happiness. Most of their people think they’re content with their lives.

And it turns out that people are happier where there is a lower happiness difference. What areas have the smallest happiness gap? In the happy nations, at least,” Helliwell told Euronews Next. Nonetheless, “for the worst of reasons: nobody’s happy,” Afghanistan also had one of the lowest happiness gaps in the 2023 WHR.

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