Safety and stability in Finland

A boy holds a canvas bag of school supplies.

Mikko Törmänen / Keksi Agency

In Finland, children walk to school on their own.

A unique mix of social stability, individual freedoms, and equality for all makes Finland the happiest country in the world. But it’s also one of the safest. Find out why this stable Nordic nation offers the perfect foundation for building your future.

A solid foundation for your family and career

Finland as a society and a democracy

Finland is the world’s most stable country and ranks among top liberal democracies for government accountability. It also earned top marks in a study on the world’s most inclusive societies, open economies, and empowered people. Finally, Finland is an egalitarian society – you might just bump into a head of state enjoying coffee in the market square or dropping their child off at the local public school.

The Finnish Minister of Defence drinks coffee in a city square.

Credits: Aapo Riihimäki / Flickr

It's not unusual to see politicians, like the Finnish Minister of Defence, enjoying coffee in the market square.

Playing it fair and transparent

Finland is one of the few countries where the media is truly free. Similar integrity can also be found in the country’s judicial system, which was ranked the world's most independent. In general, Finns also have access to a wealth of data and information and, thanks to high levels of human capital, have the means to make critical judgements about its truth and accuracy. 

 

Overall, Finland is one of the least corrupt countries in the world. This ethos of fairness is deeply embedded in the Finnish mindset. If you skip a queue here, expect to hear murmurs of disapproval.

Equality and opportunity

Finland’s stability isn’t just about free press and government institutions. It’s also apparent in the country’s efforts to level the playing field and ensure equal opportunities for all. In fact, Finland ranks fifth on the EU’s Gender Equality Index, and as of late 2021, 45% of the members of Parliament were female. The country’s current Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, grew up in a working class family and was raised by two mothers. Finland also tops the charts in social justice, and poverty rates and income differences are relatively low. Perhaps these are some of the reasons why crime rates are also low and organized crime is rare.

A smiling woman talks on her smartphone.

Credits: Markus Sommers / Business Finland

Despite its success at leveling the playing field, Finland still has work to do when it comes to bridging the gender wage gap.

Prepared for the unexpected

Major natural disasters such as tornados and earthquakes are practically non-existent in Finland. The risk of humanitarian crises and disasters here is low, while the country’s readiness to cope with unexpected situations is high. 

 

It is worth noting, however, that Finland has four distinct seasons and sub-zero temperatures and heavy snowfall are not anomalies. But that’s all part of the country's Scandinavian charm! After all, where else can you enjoy cold-weather fun like reindeer safaris or ice rally driving? Do as the Finns do and embrace winter – it has its own unique charms. Plus, Finnish infrastructure was designed to run smoothly, no matter the weather: roads are regularly ploughed, flights take off on time, and public transit operates as scheduled.

You can read more about the safety of commuting and transport here.

People ice skate during a heavy snowfall.

Credits: Jussi Hellsten / Helsinki Partners

Make the most of winter! Life in Finland doesn't stop when the temperature drops; instead, Finns enjoy outdoor activities.

What does stability feel like beyond statistics?

Finnish cultural values

Finnish society runs on honesty, openness, and mutual trust. Children walk to school on their own, babies regularly take outdoor naps in their prams, and strangers in the café won’t hesitate to ask you to watch their bag while they pop into the toilet. 

 

Finally, there’s the good old wallet statistic: according to the Reader's Digest wallet test, 11 out of 12 lost wallets in Finland are returned to their rightful owners. While that’s not exactly scientific evidence of societal stability, it does give you a good idea of Finnish values.

An open leather wallet on the ground.

Credits: Cup of Couple / Pexels

In Finland, 11 out of 12 lost wallets are returned to their owners.

Three children draw with chalk.

Credits: Aleksi Poutanen / Helsinki Partners

A kingdom for kids – children playing or napping in prams outside are common sights in Finland.