Finland – The Happiest Country in the World

The UN declared Finland as the happiest country in the world for the second time running. There were people who were doubtful of the ranking as Finland is known for its harsh weather and high suicide rate. How can Finland be then the happiest country in the world?

In 1990 the official statistics did indicate that Finland suicide rate was second highest just behind Hungary. Professor Timo Partonen at Finland´s National Institute for Health and Welfare said that this suicide rate is not due to Finland´s dark, cold climate.

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He said, “If you are depressed in any place in the world, you bear a similar risk of suicide. I think that the social connections and how willing you are to seek help and receive help are the most important things here.”

Now we don’t realize that suicide in Finland has fallen to less than half than that in 1990. It is due to a decade long public health drive that has helped the general public. Also media is brought awareness amongst the people.

“Now it´s easier to talk about it if you are depressed for example, and it´s easier to get treated and have adequate treatment as well.”

Now the suicide rate in Finland is 22nd highest in the world. But generally the residents in Finland enjoy a high quality of life. The inequality rate in the region is among lowest of all OECD countries. 

Petri Honkala, a physiotherapist said, “You forget all your daily things that maybe are going on inside your head, and you can just breathe deeply and listen to nature.”

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