Finland has been crowned the world’s happiest country for the seventh consecutive year – find out why on a unique urban happiness expedition taking place in Helsinki this summer. Olivia Palamountain reports

For an impressive seventh consecutive year, Finland has been crowned the world’s happiest country in the United Nations’ annual World Happiness Report.

The Nordic nation has held the top ranking since 2018, with its residents crediting their unique lifestyle and deep connection to nature as the keys to sustained happiness.

“Finnish happiness is not a state secret or great mystery, but instead a learnable set of skills and lifehacks,” says Heli Jimenez, senior director of international marketing at Business Finland. “From a walk in the forest, to a dip in the sea after sauna, to meals made from freshly foraged local ingredients – these are the simple daily practices behind our special brand of happiness.”     FinlandAs an old Finnish proverb states: “The one who has happiness, should share it” – which is why Finland and its capital Helsinki are inviting international applications for a first-of-its-kind Urban Happiness Expedition taking place this summer. (Applications closed in April.)FinlandFive local residents dubbed the “Helsinki Happiness Hackers” will guide participants through an authentic immersion in the Finnish way of life over five curated days from June 9-14.

The Happiness Hackers include a 70-year-old skateboarding and swimming enthusiast, a renowned sustainable chef, a wellbeing expert, a designer showcasing Helsinki’s nature integration, and even one of Finland’s top electronic DJs spinning at a “sauna rave” event.“Last year we invited people to our World’s First Happiness Masterclass in the Finnish Lakeland. This summer is about experiencing the urban side of Finnish happiness through the eyes of real Helsinki locals,” Jimenez adds.

The free-of-charge experiences aim to reveal both the simplicity and sustainability underlying Finland’s protracted satisfaction.

Though known for its pristine natural landscapes, Helsinki and other Finnish cities are increasingly hubs for healthy, balanced lifestyles connecting the great outdoors with modern urban amenities. From forest bathing to world-class culinary scenes, the Finnish capital offers its own distinct blueprint for contentment.As the world’s “happiest country” for nearly a decade running, Finland is on a mission to export its effective happiness practices globally. The 2024 Urban Happiness Expedition provides a rare chance to get immersed firsthand.FinlandOn the flip side, it’s less than encouraging news for Brits. The UK has slipped one place to 20th in the World Happiness Report, following several years of declining happiness.

In Britain, those in old age are the happiest, while the young and those in lower-middle age are least happy, reports The Times.

Other countries with happier young people than the UK include Kosovo, which until 1999 was at war and is still experiencing instability; El Salvador, which has one of the world’s highest murder rates; and Nicaragua, which is considered to be sliding into dictatorship under the presidency of Daniel Ortega.

That said, the UK still ranks higher than any other country with a population over 60 million, joined only  in the top 20 by Canada.

The Ten Happiest Countries 2024

1. Finland

2. Denmark

3. Iceland

4. Sweden

5. Israel

6. Netherlands

7. Norway

8. Luxembourg

9. Switzerland

10. Australia

The Ten Least Happy Countries 2024

1. Afghanistan

2. Lebanon

3. Lesotho

4. Sierra Leone

5. Congo

6. Zimbabwe

7. Botswana

8. Malawi

9. Eswatini

10. Zambia