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Happiness survey challenges residents to reflect on their happiness

Published: 6.10.2023

The happiness survey measuring the happiness of Vaasa residents is open again! The survey provides valuable information on the well-being of Vaasa’s people while also seeking to stimulate discussion on the issues that affect well-being and happiness. Vaasa has set itself the goal of being the happiest city in the world, and the happiness of its residents is studied in an annual survey carried out by the city’s operators together with professor emeritus in psychology Markku Ojanen.

The fourth round of the happiness survey comes at a time when uncertainty in world politics is a daily reality and issues related to one’s own future and well-being are a growing concern. Despite the challenging situation, Markku Ojanen sees that the City of Vaasa is on the move at a good time, because it is particularly important to highlight happiness in difficult times.

– Happiness does not mean that all is well, but that the things that make us happy can help us to cope even in the most challenging of times. The City of Vaasa’s happiness survey for its residents is an excellent way not only to gather information about the situation of residents, but also to stimulate discussion around the topic, says Ojanen.

Actions to increase happiness

According to Tomas Häyry, Mayor of Vaasa, measuring the happiness of residents provides important information on how to better develop the city’s services to meet their needs. Häyry also stresses the importance of the happiness survey as a discussion starter and says that the city wants to use the survey to highlight things that everyone can do to improve their happiness.

– It is clear that the economic and global political situation challenge happiness. However, many studies show that, despite the huge challenges, happiness can be influenced by making small changes in our daily lives, says Häyry.

According to Häyry, the responses to previous surveys show that people in Vaasa have internalised the importance of small deeds. He therefore challenges all residents to respond to the survey and then take some action, even a small one, to boost happiness.

– Answering the happiness survey forces everyone, at least for a moment, to reflect on their own situation and the factors that could make their daily life happier, says Häyry.

The development of happiness in Vaasa

According to Ojanen, the surveys show that, overall, the happiness of people in Vaasa is at a fairly good level. In the first reference year, the happiness of people in Vaasa had risen slightly, and in last year’s survey it had fallen slightly from the previous year.

– This is partly explained by uncertainty about their own finances and well-being. The survey now open shows how happiness has evolved in a situation where uncertainty and change have become the rule rather than the exception, says Ojanen.


Background and information about the research:

The survey will be carried out as an online survey open to all from October 5th to November 5th, 2023, in Finnish, Swedish and English. The survey will be conducted as an online survey, so it is not a random sample. The survey can also be answered by completing a paper form, which is available at least at the Citizen Services.

Professor emeritus Markku Ojanen, who studies happiness, will analyse the survey.

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