Since commencing The World Happiness Report back in 2012, each year the Nordic countries – Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland – have all ranked in the Top 10.

The World Happiness Report uses survey responses to subjective questions related to income, social support, community, personal freedom, and levels of corruption to determine a nation’s happiness.

Is There Something In The Water?

So, what is it about the Nordic countries that makes them rank so highly in these happiness reports?

In brief, the Nordics have a solid social support system and are commonly associated with good health care, equality, good education, democracy, safety and security, and low levels of corruption in business and government.

Another key component is trust.

Trust Thy Neighbour

In 2010, The Prosperity Index report showed that 74 percent of Norwegians, 64 percent of Danes, 60 percent of Finns, and 56 percent of Swedes believe that other people can be trusted.

Andreas Bergh, an economist at Lund University and the Research Institute for Industrial Economics, says that in the Nordics there is a “widespread belief in the population that most people can be trusted, and the fact that most people can be trusted refers to things like obeying agreements, trading as they say they are trading, behaving in an honest way and, of course, behaving in a trustworthy way.”

Part of Something Bigger

People in the Nordic countries are willing to pay higher taxes to support government social services because they believe their fellow citizens will not abuse the system. Again, here, we can see trust.

On social services in the Nordic countries, Bo Rothstein, a Swedish political scientist, and professor at the University of Oxford, said in a paper for SSRN “it is obvious that the countries that score highest on social trust also rank highest on economic equality, namely the Nordic countries, the Netherlands, and Canada.”

In the Nordic Labour Journal, Sigrun Aasland from Agenda, a leading think-tank in Norway, said “Trust means we feel safer, social relations become simpler and we make use of social institutions. But it does not come out of nowhere, it is the result of good politics. We need common meeting places and we need to feel that we have equal opportunities. Trust must be used and cannot run out. We have a lot of trust, but it needs to be used”.

Putting Money Where Our Mouth Is

Nordic values such as trust, honesty, reliability, and sustainability, can be found at the heart of Ferratum Group, a leading international pioneer in financial technology and mobile banking, founded in Helsinki, Finland.

At Ferratum we believe that a transaction is more than just a financial transaction – it’s a mutual exchange built on trust.

Together, let´s do this. Happy Banking!

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