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Finnish cities among happiest in the world

The city of Lappeenranta was named as the second-happiest city in Finland.

City of Lappeenranta

The London-based Institute for Quality of Life has listed six Finnish cities in its annual ranking of the world’s happiest cities.

Helsinki was the highest-placed Finnish representative in the Happy City Index 2023, taking 11th spot in the ranking. The eastern city of Lappeenranta (25th) was named as the second-happiest city in Finland and Oulu (50th) the third.

The three other Finnish cities to appear on the list were Tampere (51st), Jyväskylä (58th) and Turku (60th).

Altogether, the Happy City Index evaluated 200 cities in 24 different areas of activity, divided into five key categories: citizens, governance, environment, economy and mobility. Its chief goal is to assess whether actions taken by decision-makers have made an impact on people’s happiness.

Recent years have seen Helsinki named the world’s best city for work-life balance.

N2 Albiino / Matti_Pyykko

A high degree of life satisfaction among residents, coupled with their appreciation of freedoms and the social support provided by a stable and well-functioning society, has seen Finland take the top spot in the World Happiness Report for six years running.

“In Finland, the idea is that a well-functioning welfare state creates the prerequisites for a favourable business environment, enabling companies and individuals to succeed,” said Antti Aumo, head of Invest in Finland from Business Finland. “This safety net functions as a trampoline in Finland, giving an extra lift for Finnish people and companies.”

Helsinki also secured a spot among Europe's top 30 startup hubs in 2023, and this year saw it named by the European Commission as good place to live as an immigrant. The latter report also recognised Oulu as the second-best place to live for families with young children and for the ease of finding reasonably priced good housing.

Helsinki has also been named the best city for work-life balance in recent years and among the top three for its technological provision. Furthermore, the quality of life in the Finnish capital has received considerable praise from the Monocle magazine.

Happiness for all

Last year, Finland launched a Masterclass of Happiness online, hoping to help the global community to connect with their inner Finn and start a happy lifestyle.

“The key is that [happiness] is not just some mystical ability you are born with; it’s an approach to life that can be learned,” said Heli Jimenez, senior director of marketing and public relations at Business Finland.

The free online course consists of video lessons from five coaches on four core themes.

By: James O’Sullivan