Nordic social status

This year is the 200th anniversary of Finland and Sweden becoming separate countries. A long joint history has made their people pretty similar; when a recent study asked what people thought would raise or lower their social status, it found that both nations value education, language skills and financial success, as you’d expect. But there were also some odd and interesting differences.

Finland – High status: Being a skilled handyman, having a long and stable marriage, having a unique style. Low status: Being friendly with the boss outside work, featuring in the gossip press, being a skilled horse rider.

Sweden – High status: Being funny and entertaining, being able to decide your own work hours, being able to take time off. Low status: Knowing someone in the Wallenberg family or in the Swedish Academy, owning a fur coat, going to church every Sunday. © Monocle 2009