Why Finland is Still the World’s Happiest Nation

by | 15 Apr 2024

For the seventh year in a row, Finland has been voted the world’s happiest nation. Why is it that year after year, this Nordic nation consistently tops global happiness rankings? What is the secret behind Finland’s enduring happiness From its breathtaking natural landscapes to its robust social policies, Finland offers its residents a quality of life that is second to none. Here are all the reasons why Finland is yet again the world’s happiest nation, and what you can do when you visit.

Nature that fills you with joy

The first thing that makes Finnish people so happy is the country’s natural beauty. With vast forests, thousands of lakes, and the mesmerizing spectacle of the Northern Lights, Finland is a haven for nature enthusiasts. The Finnish people have a close connection with nature, enjoying clean air, pure water and walking in the woods. These simple pleasures create a peaceful type of happiness, and an appreciation for the little things in life. All of these things are linked to lower stress levels and increased well-being.

Visit the world’s happiest nation and discover Finland’s natural beauty for yourself. On the Scandinavian Heritage tour, you’ll go forest bathing with a Local Expert, taking a guided tranquil walk through Rovaniemi forest. Travel through Lapland,  Europe’s last great wilderness, looking out for herds of reindeer on the way. You’ll have the choice to stop at Ranua Wildlife Park for the chance to see polar bears, lynxes and wolverine. This is one of the best things to do in Finland to put a smile on your face.

Discover nature in the world’s happiest nation on Scandinavian Heritage

a close up shot of a brown bear’s face, with shaggy brown fur

Around 75% of Finland’s surface is covered with forests.

Finland is a progressive Society

Simply put, things work well in Finland: public services run smoothly, there’s little crime and corruption, and they have a fantastic education system largely subsidized by the government. Finnish schools develop well-rounded people, setting them up for success. In the workplace, Fins enjoy lots of vacation time, flexible working hours and healthy amounts of parental leave. With such a positive work-life balance, little income inequality, and high social mobility, Finland’s functioning society is a happy one with a culture of looking out for everyone. This extends to visitors like you, as everyone is welcome.

Community and Social Cohesion

Finland boasts a strong sense of social cohesion, where everyone’s valued and supported by their communities. The Finnish welfare state provides a safety net that ensures access to healthcare, education, and social services for all citizens. This egalitarian ethos fosters a sense of belonging and solidarity; it’s no doubt this is the world’s happiest nation.

Part of this social cohesion comes from the sauna. Sauna culture is deeply ingrained in Finnish society, offering a space for relaxation, reflection, and socializing. Whether in urban centers or remote villages, saunas provide a refuge from the stresses of daily life, promoting physical and mental well-being. The act of socializing in saunas fosters bonds between friends, families, and communities, enriching the social fabric of Finnish society.

Plus, all the beautiful nature means there are so many for Fins to do together. From cross-country skiing to berry picking, Finns embrace outdoor activities throughout the year. Whether it’s the thrill of winter sports or the tranquility of a summer hike, there are endless opportunities of things to do in Finland.

Couple enjoying a sauna session, closing their eyes with towels wrapped around their necks.


Northern Lights and Midnight Sun

The celestial wonders of the Northern Lights and the enchanting phenomenon of the Midnight Sun are sure reasons why this is the world’s happiest nation. These natural spectacles not only captivate the senses, but also symbolize the profound connection between the Finnish people and their environment. The ethereal dance of the Northern Lights across the Arctic sky inspires awe and wonder, fostering a sense of humility and reverence for the mysteries of the universe.




In Finland, there are 3 million saunas for a population of just over 5 million.

Similarly, the Midnight Sun, with its never-ending days during the summer months, infuses Finland with a sense of boundless energy and optimism. These marvels serve as reminders of the beauty and resilience of life in Finland, instilling a deep appreciation for the rhythms of nature and the cycles of the seasons. In the embrace of the Northern Lights and the warmth of the Midnight Sun, Finns find solace, inspiration, and a profound sense of belonging, contributing to the nation’s enduring happiness.

Journey to mainland Europe’s most northern point to see something that doesn’t happen – sunset! Even at midnight, the sun clings to the horizon. This once-in-a-lifetime unique experience is accompanied by champagne and caviar to make it even more special. Stand near the fence of the towering cliffs, dramatically rising out of the sea and you will feel as if you are on the edge of the world, and you literally are.

Finland’s status as the world’s happiest nation is no accident. It is the result of a holistic approach to well-being centered around nature, social cohesion, work-life balance, education, and cultural enrichment. As the rest of the world grapples with the pursuit of happiness, Finland serves as a beacon of inspiration, reminding us all that true contentment lies not in material wealth, but in the simple joys of life and the connections we forge with one another.


Discover the world’s happiest nation with Insightful guides and Local experts on Scandinavian Heritage

I'm Jay – born in Italy, raised in South London. Having French sisters and Hungarian ancestors, I've always been fascinated with the world and its cultures, and I carry this curiosity into my writing for Insightful. My favourite destinations I've traveled to so far have been Italy, Peru, France and Brazil.