Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

Finland was ranked the happiest country in the world according to a report by the United Nations. In case you were wondering, the US ranks 18th. The report considers among other factors, wealth equality, taxes, access to health care, life expectancy, low corruption and social programs. The people in Finland apparently didn't consider the long, cold winters and not seeing the sun for several months to be important. Finland has rates of illicit drug use, declining family formation, increasing out of wedlock births and high suicide rates. It's an aging population and the birthrate is below replacement levels. This means that it will eventually have a people shortage to do basic tasks if the country is going to maintain the same standards of living.  Fins define happiness in material terms but it comes at the expense of families and the long-term viability of the nation.