Finland is the world's happiest country for the seventh time. Photo: Marjaana Malkamäki / Keksi

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Finland has once again been declared the world's happiest country, marking the seventh consecutive year it has received this accolade according to The World Happiness Report 2024. This consistent recognition has sparked global interest in the Finnish way of life and raised questions about how happiness influences Finland's image on the international stage and its use in attracting investments, tourists, and skilled professionals.

Over the past seven years, Finland's repeated victories have not only garnered significant media attention worldwide but have also led to a global curiosity about the secret behind Finnish happiness. This intrigue has touched on various aspects of Finnish society, including its education system, work-life practices, and close-to-nature lifestyle.

Johanna Jäkälä, Director of Country Branding at Business Finland, emphasizes the value of Finland's top ranking in the UN's happiness report. "The recurring first place in the happiness report is extremely valuable to Finland, bringing us a lot of positive international media visibility and recognition. Happiness has become a significant part of our country's image," Jäkälä explains.

In recent years, the theme of happiness has been extensively utilized in international marketing efforts to attract tourists, investments, and specialists, including startup entrepreneurs. Visit Finland has incorporated the theme into widely visible campaigns such as "Rent a Finn" and "Masterclass of Happiness". For Invest in Finland, Finnish technology, sustainability, and happiness are cornerstones of their marketing efforts, highlighting the quality of life in a stable and safe Finland for international talent.

Jäkälä points out the crucial role of country image in promoting foreign investments, tourism, and the availability of international expertise. "The country image is decisive in whether Finland is considered when decisions about investment locations are made. Happiness is one of our strengths that sets us apart from competitors," she adds.

What happens if Finland no longer holds the top spot in future happiness reports? Jäkälä remains optimistic, "If Finland were to drop from the top position, we would naturally pass the title of the happiest country to another. It's likely, however, that Finland would still remain near the top of the list, which in itself is an impressive achievement. Over seven years, Finland has successfully cemented its place as a leading country in happiness."

The World Happiness Report, published annually by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, ranks the world's happiest countries based on data from nearly 150 nations. Following Finland in the rankings were Denmark and Iceland, highlighting the Nordic countries' strong presence in the top tiers of global happiness.

HT

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