Finland is again the happiest country in the world, according to the World Happiness Report issued on Wednesday (March 20).
Ranked at first place for the second time running, Finland’s score was “significantly ahead of other countries in the top 10”, the report said.
In order, the countries that ranked top 10 are: Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Canada and Austria.
In total, 156 countries were ranked according to three years of surveys conducted by Gallup World Polls from 2016-2018. This year’s report focused on how happiness has evolved over the years – and how technology, social norms and the government have played a part in these changes.
Singapore remains at 34th place, and is one of Asia’s happiest countries, and the top in Southeast Asia.
In contrast, Malaysia fell a staggering 45 places, from 35th place last year to 80th this year. South Korea came in at 54th, Japan at 58th, and China was ranked at 93.
In other parts of the world, Australia ranked 11th, the UK ranked 15th, and the US is at 19th place.
Finland offers to “rent” out Finns for a lesson on happiness
Taking their achievement to the next level, Finland is now inviting people from around the world to come and learn to live like them, with the help of a local Finn.
A new tourism campaign was launched on March 18 with the tagline: “Rent your very own Finn. Find your calm.”
As part of the campaign, a contest will be held to introduce foreign visitors to a Finnish experience through various activities, a press release said.
The contest will see eight Finns hosting foreign visitors in their own homes for three days, acting as their “personal guides to happiness”.
A report by Good News from Finland quoted Heli Jimenez, senior director of international marketing at Business Finland as saying: “The ‘Rent a Finn’ campaign is in response to the global travel trend of living like a local, which is all about sharing genuine experiences with ordinary people.”
Experiences may range from visiting a national park to spending a weekend fishing at a real summer cottage.
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