I live in Finland, this is why it’s NOT the best place to live despite what the world happiness rankings say! And need I mention the constant threat of Putin?

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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Finnish journalist Carina Chela tells MailOnline why her home country might not the happiest place on earth despite what a UN-backed report says 

It’s that time of the year again: crappy weather and people sliding around in the Helsinki slush – and the seemingly inevitable confirmation that Finland is, yet again, the happiest place on the planet. 

For the seventh year in a row, Finland has landed the top spot in the annual World Happiness Report, followed by its northern neighbours Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden. 

The stats supporting this conclusion are based on the Gallup World Poll covering more than 140 countries.

Nobody is more skeptical than the Finns about the notion that we are the world’s happiest people. 

Yes, we do have speeding fines that are based on income, and probably the highest concentration of metal bands in the world. 

From average wage to suicide rates here's how Finland stacks up to the UK and the US. Source OECD

From average wage to suicide rates here’s how Finland stacks up to the UK and the US. Source OECD

But being the happiest seems like a bit of an overstatement.

The recently elected Finnish president, Alexander Stubb, took to the social media website X to share his reasons for the country’s success – basically, nature, trust and education. 

But then he would say that, having a untypically optimistic personality and an annoyingly positive approach to life and everything. 

Begrudgingly, I have to agree with him on these three topics, but only to some extent. 

We actually love our reputation for having the best educational system, but also let’s be loud and clear about the fact that the latest PISA results (Program for International Student Assessment) reveal that performance in Finland has collapsed even though it remains above average.

A sustainable and strong economy? Not really. 

In less than three months Finland has had two major political strikes affecting many sectors of the economy, and the government and trade unions are still failing to negotiate a happy way forward.

And let’s not forget that Finland used to have one of the highest suicide rates in the world thanks to alcohol abuse and antidepressants. 

These days the suicide rates have been halved but it is still slightly higher than the EU average. 

For some reason, the Finnish youth are now failing to follow in the drunken footsteps of the previous generations.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has added to our sense of insecurity. We have even joined NATO. 

The 1340 kilometres long border with our annoyingly expansionist neighbour is currently closed because the wise men in the Kremlin decided to start funnelling migrants to the border. 

It’s quite annoying for all the business near the border that depended on tourism from Russia.

So I would say that Finland is definitely not among the unhappiest countries in the world, but we still have some work to do before the average Pekka would agree with the UN-sponsored happiness report. 

However, if and when Russia loses the war in Ukraine and is forced to withdraw with its tail firmly between those wobbly imperialist legs, then we definitely would actually be very happy.

So happy, in fact, that the happiness results for the next decade or two would be a foregone conclusion.

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