When the World Happiness Report announced recently that Finland is the happiest country in the world, we Finns reacted the same way as we have reacted to other top rankings in various international comparisons: we criticized the methodology of the study, questioned its conclusions and pointed to the shortcomings of Finnish society.
It’s not the first time something like this has happened. When the World Economic Forum ranked Finland as the most competitive economy in Europe in 2014, the chief executive of the Finnish chamber of commerce, Risto Penttilä, felt obliged to write an opinion piece for the Financial Times where he tried to prove that the results couldn’t be right.
This time it is my duty, as a Finnish expert on well-being research, to explain why the happiness of the Finns has been greatly exaggerated.
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