Finland Tops The World Happiness Report Again

The 2024 World Happiness Report was released recently and once again Finland is No. 1. Yes, for the seventh consecutive year, the people of Finland are the happiest people in the world. And in case you’re wondering, the happiest people in Finland are therapists. They have no clients and can watch Netflix 24 hours a day. (I’m exaggerating of course. They watch Amazon Prime too.)

What this means, of course, is that members of the Finnish-American community are finding it extremely hard to persuade any of their friends and relatives in Finland to immigrate to America. Just ask Markus Alvari, president of the Finnish-American Preservation Society (FAPS). He recently hired marketing consultant Robbie Viraldino and his intern Johnny Viraldino (no relation) to create a campaign to get more Finns to move to America.

Robbie: “We need to start with a good slogan. What can we tell Finnish people about America that will make them want to come here?”
Johnny: “I know! I know! Immigrate to America and you’ll be able to own a gun!”

Robbie (shakes his head): “I thought you did some research on Finland. Gun ownership is common in Finland. Every fourth person owns a gun.”
Johnny (thinking hard): “I know! I know! Immigrate to America and you’ll be able to own 10 guns! You can even own an automatic weapon.”

Robbie: “Johnny! Why are you obsessed with guns? Guns don’t make people happy. People make people happy. Finnish people are happy because they take care of each other. They have a strong sense of community. They also have great work-life balance. On average, employees in Finland are entitled to five full weeks of paid vacation per year!”

Johnny: “Five full weeks?”

Robbie: “Yes, they just have to work one year and they’re eligible for five full weeks of paid vacation. Now please try to think of a good slogan.”
Johnny: “I’ve already got one: ‘Stay in Finland, you lucky bastards!’”

While Finland remained at No. 1 in the World Happiness Report, Afghanistan remained at the bottom of the overall rankings (No. 143), earning the distinction of “world’s unhappiest nation.” This is not a big surprise, especially since Afghanistan is ruled by the Taliban, whose official slogan is “Happiness is overrated.”

The Taliban forbids girls from getting an education beyond sixth grade, making Afghanistan the only country in the world that restricts female education. As the Associated Press reported, the Taliban’s education ministry recently held a ceremony to mark the start of the new academic year. They invited the media to the ceremony, but the invitation included this line: “Due to the lack of a suitable place for the sisters, we apologize to female reporters.”

Lack of a suitable place — that’s how you create unhappiness! The Taliban’s education ministry must be proud to be No. 1 in the World Unhappiness Report.
Of course, there are many factors that determine happiness. The UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network lists six factors: social support, GDP per capita, a healthy life expectancy, perception of corruption, generosity, and wealthy relatives.

Actually, the sixth factor is freedom to make life choices.

Wealthy relatives may make you happy, but wealth is relative. Some rich people feel poor, some poor people feel rich.

In case you’re wondering, the U.S. was No. 23 on the list, the first time it has fallen out of the top 20 since the World Happiness Report was first published in 2012.

Canada, America’s northern neighbor, was No. 15. Denmark was No. 2, Iceland was No. 3, Australia was No. 10 and the U.K. was No. 20.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not too happy about the World Happiness Report.

Image courtesy of Image provided

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