Happiest country

Ashok B. Boghani
2 min readJul 2, 2023

Recently, Finland was voted to be the happiest country in the world.

According to Guardian in reporting the story: “The world happiness report, now in its 10th year, is based on people’s own assessment of their happiness, as well as economic and social data. It assigns a happiness score on a scale of zero to 10, based on an average of data over three years. As well as a personal sense of wellbeing, based on Gallup polls in each country, the happiness score takes account of GDP, social support, personal freedom and levels of corruption. The country of vast forests and lakes is also known for its well-functioning public services, ubiquitous saunas, widespread trust in authority and low levels of crime and inequality.”

United States was ranked 16th in the same report. However, I would much rather live in the good old USA than in Finland. There are a couple of strong reasons:

First, my view is biased by the fact that I am an immigrant of color. US is a country of immigrants and no one can rightfully claim a superior position just by the fact that they are the original residents of the country. That is no one except a small minority of Native Americans. That would not be true in Finland. You will always be “different” from the population that has not immigrated to that country.

Second, and a more important reason, is the variety that US offers compared to Finland. The variety of population, for example. This melting pot has people from all over the world, and not just in token numbers. For example, the city of Los Angeles has a vast population of Latin Americans, and the texture that provides to the overall life here cannot be matched by a relatively homogenous population of Finland. People bring languages, food types, lifestyles and celebrations.

The geography of this vast country is also varied. One can go from the desert of Nevada to the forested New England, from the mountainous Colorado to the plains of Kansas, from tropical climate of Florida to Mediterranean one of Southern California. Variety in Finland? Not so much.

I am reminded of the commercial one sees for happy retirement…lazing around on a hammock on a sea shore. What could be better than a worry-free life like that? Not for me. I would get bored out of my mind in a few days.

To me, variety of experiences is key to happiness. US provides that. Yes, there are huge problems…guns, racial divide, income inequality, and such. However, I would much rather have those than living life in a country voted to be the happiest.



Ashok B. Boghani

I am a retired management consultant who enjoys reading and writing on a variety of subjects. I am fascinated by people, places and physics.