Shiny Happy People, Meet the Danes!

April 27, 2011 in General by Aphrodite Bassil

When asked about the happiest place on the planet, most people imagine a tropical paradise with deep blue waters and sunny days, a peaceful Mediterranean village amidst breathtaking nature or even a prosperous country such as the United States of America.However, when in search for human bliss, we’d be truly surprised where we can actually find it.

According to two of the largest studies ranking the happiest countries around the world, Denmark tops the list, followed by its three neighbors, Finland, Norway and Sweden.This is how a Scandinavian country with harsh weather conditions and high taxes on incomes has claimed the top spot among 155 polled nations.

Danes enjoy a high level of prosperity. Homelessness, poverty, crime and unemployment are rare. Their basic needs are taken care of;childcare, healthcare, education and elder care are free for everyone. In fact, Denmark spends more on children and the elderly than any country in the world. Women benefit from six to twelvemonths paid maternity leave and the government even pays for social clubs to encourage friendship. Denmark has the world’s lowest level of income inequality according to the United Nations and the world’s highest minimum wage according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

This has resulted in a high level of trust between the Danes and their government and among themselves. This is probably one of the few countries where mothers can leave their babies unattended in strollers outside cafés and where bikes are left unlocked. People believe in what they call “Jante-lov” that means “you’re no better than anybody else”.  A garbage collector can easily lead as comfortable a life as a banker, social status is nonexistent.On the entrepreneurial level, Denmark is one of the top western European countries for start-up rates. In the past decade, it has displayed a high rate of new startup activities for high-growth companies, with new enterprises challenging existing ones, thereby stimulating competition and growth.

Danes are also environmentally conscious, having ranked as the 10th best country for “Living Green” by a 2007 Readers’ Digest survey and Copenhagen is recognized as one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the world. They can all afford cars, yet they choose bikes.

In conclusion, Danes enjoy a simple happy life in a safe clean environment; they feel secure and worry free, so it comes as no surprise people rated their happiness levels 8 and above on a scale of 1 to 10, making them the happiest nation on earth.

In case you are wondering, Lebanon ranks at 73, the USA at 14 (Gallup World Poll)