In Finland, a comparatively egalitarian society, folks have a tendency to not be fixated on “keeping up with the Joneses.”

“People often do pretty well in social comparison,” stated Antti Kauppinen, a philosophy professor on the University of Helsinki. “This starts from education; everybody has access to good education. Income and wealth differences are relatively small.”

David Pfister, an architect from Austria who lives in Oulunkyla, a suburb of Helsinki, stated that he would describe Finns as content material, however that it was onerous to say in the event that they had been comfortable. “The baby has increased our happiness,” stated his spouse, Veera Yliniemi, a trainer. Another man in the identical suburb, Janne Berliini, 49, stated he was comfortable sufficient. “I have work,” he stated. “The basic things are in order.”

People in Finland additionally are likely to have practical expectations for his or her lives. But when one thing in life does exceed expectations, folks will typically act with humility, preferring a self-deprecating joke over bragging, stated Sari Poyhonen, a linguistics professor on the University of Jyvaskyla. Finns, she stated, are execs at retaining their happiness a secret.

The report this 12 months acquired little consideration within the Finnish information media. “Finland is still the happiest country in the world,” began a short article that ran on Page 19 in Ilta-Sanomat, a every day newspaper.

All of the nations that ranked within the high 10 — together with the 4 different Nordic nations — have completely different political philosophies than within the United States, No. 14 on the listing, behind Ireland and forward of Canada. Lower ranges of happiness within the United States might be pushed by social battle, drug habit, lack of entry to well being care and revenue inequality, Dr. Wang stated.

Things in Finland are removed from good. Like different components of the continent, far-right nationalism is on the rise, and unemployment is 8.1 p.c, greater than the typical unemployment price of seven.5 p.c within the European Union.

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