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Finns are less happy, study finds

Finland may be the happiest country in the world, however happiness rates have fallen since 2016.

Kaksi miestä rantavedessä kuivattelemassa pyyhkeet harteillaan.
Some 76 percent of respondents reported being quite happy, down from 80 percent in 2016. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

A survey conducted by the Finnish Business and Policy Forum (EVA) suggests that one in five Finns is unhappy, up from 17 percent in 2016. The slump in the mental well-being of people in Finland may be partially explained by the coronavirus pandemic.

"One of the reasons for the decline in happiness may be the effects of the coronavirus crisis on working life and the lives of people of working age," EVA research manager Ilkka Haavisto, said in a press release.

The biggest decline in happiness was observed among those in leadership positions, academically educated, entrepreneurs, employees and those between the ages of 26 and 55 years.

Income estimates, such as household gross income, have a clear link to happiness. Only some 38 percent of survey respondents experiencing income difficulties were happy while well over half were not.

Nevertheless, around 76 percent of respondents were fairly happy - still a high figure compared to international statistics. A reflection of that was Finland ranking as the world's happiest country for the fourth consecutive year, according to the World Happiness Report.

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