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Five from Finland

Top index rankings for 2022

The Finnish way of doing things is gaining global recognition.

Julia Helminen

With 2022 gradually drawing to a close, now is a good time to have a look at how Finland has made it through the year according to international comparisons of all kinds.

In Finland, 2022 will be remembered as a year when the country topped the World Happiness Report for the fifth time in a row. Paying special attention to daily emotions to evaluate the pandemic’s effect on various aspects of daily life, this year’s edition noted that Finland had a score “significantly ahead of the other countries in the top ten”.

It comes as no surprise that the happiest country in the world ranked high also in the Good Country Index, an annual study that examines how nations contribute to the common good of humanity. This year, Finland was placed fifth, performing particularly well in the categories of planet and climate, prosperity and equality, science and technology, as well as health and wellbeing.

Below we’ve rounded up five more areas where Finland has been recognised favourably in international indices over the last 12 months.


The European Commission ranked Finland as the most digitally advanced nation in the EU in its annual Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI).

Jussi Hellsten

Last summer, Finland clinched the top spot in the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), the European Union’s annual evaluation of digital performance and digitalisation progress. With an overall score of 69.6 out of 100, Finland led the majority of indicators across the four key areas, such as human capital, connectivity, integration of digital technology and digital public services.

According to the study, Finland’s digital skills level is well above the EU average with 79 per cent of individuals having at least basic digital skills. Finland is also a leader in, for example, the proportion of employed people working as ICT specialists, integration of digital technology by businesses and 5G commercial services provision.

“Finland’s top position tells us that we have done many things right in promoting digitalisation,” commented Minister of Local Government Sirpa Paatero. “However, our success so far has only laid the foundation for the work to come, and Finland needs to systematically continue our ambitious digital and technology policy.”


Finland is one of the global and European leaders in gender equality, according to international comparisons.

Petri Anttila

Benchmarking the current state and evolution of gender parity in 146 countries, the World Economic Forum placed Finland second in its Global Gender Gap Index 2022. In the ranking, which looked at the four main indicators of economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment, Finland achieved a gender parity score of 86 per cent.

Placed first in educational attainment and second in political empowerment, the country still has much ground to make up in economic participation and opportunity, the study revealed.

This year, Finland also ranked high in the EU’s Gender Equality Index, which measures the level of equality in the core domains of work, money, knowledge, time, power and health. The country received an overall score of 75.4 out of a possible 100 points representing gender parity and secured fourth position in the ranking.

“The positive takeaway is that progress has been made in gender equality in general, but the rate of progress should be faster,” noted Minister for Nordic Co-operation and Equality Thomas Blomqvist. “It is important that we avoid regression and continue to work to improve gender equality.”


The European Innovation Scoreboard 2022 slotted Finland second behind Sweden in terms of innovation performance.


This year, Finland ranked second in the European Innovation Scoreboard 2022, edged out for the top spot by Sweden. Dubbed an innovation leader, Finland performed at a rate that is almost 136 per cent of the EU average and was praised particularly for lifelong learning, public-private co-publications and collaboration between small and medium enterprise. The study also highlighted a noticeable increase in business process innovators, sales of innovative products and broadband penetration in Finland.

“Europe's commitment to innovation is shown by its continuous improvement in innovation performance,” said Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth.

The scoreboard’s findings are significant from the perspective of the New European Innovation agenda, announced in July to position Europe as a “leading player on the global innovation landscape”.


In 2022, Finland retained its top position in an international comparison of sustainable development.


Earlier this year, Finland topped the Sustainable Development Report 2022, an international assessment of progress made by 163 countries across the globe in implementing the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

According to the ranking, Finland has achieved its goals in poverty reduction, clean and affordable energy, and high-quality education. The country is also well on track to meet the goals related to reducing inequality, advancing gender equality, decent work and economic growth, and peace and the rule of law.

“Finland’s strength [in sustainable development] lies in our long-term investments to ensure people’s wellbeing and equality,” said the secretary-general of the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development, Sami Pirkkala. “A key challenge for Finland is how to maintain this high level of wellbeing within the limits of our planet.”

Meanwhile, Lahti and Helsinki were ranked fourth and sixth respectively in an index of environmentally sustainable development across 50 cities worldwide. The inaugural study by Corporate Knights took into account various quantitative indicators of sustainability performance, including air quality, emissions and renewable energy.


The Corruption Perceptions Index used a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean) to gauge perceptions, with Finland receiving an overall score of 88.

Mangostar / Adobe

In the latest edition of Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), published in early 2022, Finland shared the first place with Denmark and New Zealand. The top countries all got an overall score of 88 out of 100, while the global average accounted to just 43.

The annual index, ranking 180 countries and territories around the world by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, uses a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 meaning highly corrupt and 100 being very clean. The study is based on data sources collected by independent and reputable institutions, including the World Bank and World Economic Forum.

The wider perspective, characterised by a “global standstill” in the fight against public-sector corruption, alarmed experts and business professionals.

“Despite commitments on paper, 131 countries have made no significant progress against corruption over the last decade and this year 27 countries are at historic lows in their CPI score,” the executive summary revealed.

By: Zhanna Koiviola