The Most Happy

happy-danish-womanSocial scientists have created a World Map of Happiness by studying the overall life happiness of hundreds of thousands of people around the globe.

The results show that the happiest place on earth is Denmark.

 

Denmark?

Isn’t that a Socialist country? And, isn’t it rainy & dreary there most of the year?

Well, sort of. And yes.

Denmark isn’t completely a ‘socialist state,’ but does have socialist welfare reforms. And yes, it rains on a regular basis year-round there, with no true dry periods. In the capital, Copenhagen, it rains an average of 170 days out of the year.

But dreary? Well, maybe in winter – the sun doesn’t rise until 8am, and sets around 3:30pm. But that’s typical for Scandinavia. To balance it out, summer boasts looooong, sun-shiny days that last from sunrise at 3:30am til sunset at 10pm.

Okay, so what are Danes so happy about?    

danes-riding-bikes-with-kidsWell, for one thing, they are extremely environmentally conscious.

Respiratory ailments are practically nonexistent, and they’ve got virtually the cleanest air on the planet.

In fact, Denmark is rated #7 in the top 15 healthiest countries in the world.

One reason for this is that most Danes rides bikes rather than drive cars, and SUV’s are a rare sight throughout the country. So is unemployment, poverty, and homeless people.

mom-with-newbornBut wait. There’s more. Soooo much more.

In a nation of nearly 6 million, healthcare is free…

…the government pays up to 90% of your salary for 4 years if you lose your job…

…mothers get 6 to 12 months paid maternity leave, AND fathers get 3 months paid paternity leave as well.

Oh, and students are actually paid to attend university.

8O

Excuse me while I wildly throw everything I own into boxes for a move to Danish-land! :)

Add to good health, a lack of wedding pressure. Little Danish girls don’t grow up dreaming about white weddings. And, in light of the U.S. having the # 1 highest divorce rate in the world, Danish women are confounded by the proliferation of American reality TV shows highlighting our obsession with weddings.

Says Nanna Norup, a 44-year old single Dane: “Weddings and bridal gowns…it’s never been a dream of mineI don’t think my girlfriends had that dream, either.

Without a doubt, the structure of Danish society contributes to their happiness and peace of mind.

denmark-trash-collectorsFor example, Danes do not divide society into social hierarchies. Following an intrinsic Danish belief that no one is any better than anyone else, garbage men live in middle-to-upper-class neighborhoods alongside white collar workers.

In fact, Danish garbage men are very proud of their careers; they are able to feel this way because Danish society does not judge them as being any less important than corporate CEOs.

As they sling trash, Danish garbage collectors are waved at, smiled at, and even offered coffee or tea by the people in the neighborhoods in which they work.

Very cool!

But if you think that’s amazing, check this out: a Danish royal prince living in an enormous castle, and working happily in overalls as a carpenter’s apprentice!

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What say you about the happiest country in the world?

Can you see yourself living there?

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Foreign Eyes Friday

sylverblaque-foreign-eyes-friday

12 thoughts on “The Most Happy

  1. I’m thinking one of the reasons that Denmark is so successful is that it is SMALL. The US has two problems which compound themselves. The first is our size. How can what’s good for the Amish in Pennsylvania have any meaning for …say Hispanics in border states or lobstermen in Maine. We compound this problem by growing our central government at an alarming rate. We need to dismantle this federal monster we’ve created and focus on the needs of the individuals in the various states at the state level. The bigger you are, the more pressure there is to create categories and categories naturally lead to discrimination, prejudice, etc. The United States were a much better idea when there were only 13 colonies. Manifest Destiny? Not so good.

  2. Well, considering what their respective jobs are about, I consider garbage men more important than CEOs — but exchanging sunny Greece with 170 days of rain and 7-hour sunlight… I would slash my wrists, seriously!

      • Greece is Bright! I mean, there is no area that gets less than 2,300 hours of sunlight per year, and in Crete (South) they get about 3,000 hours of sunlight per year. Winters are quite short and usually mild near the sea and on low altitudes, with colder climate on the mountains (of course!)

        As for healthcare and education… the situation is depressing. Healthcare used to be better, but now everything is falling apart. And while education is, in principle, free, in practice school kids need to attend too many private lessons, because school is made to not be enough, and Universities are being constantly degraded.

        Still, I can’t think of myself living under a dull sky and with so little light! Better hungry in Greece, than rich abroad — and I’ve had bad times too, I’m not saying it just for show ;)

        • I think this economy is unraveling the seams of many countries. I hope things improve in Greece, as they hopefully do here, too. We both have such beautiful countries with citizens who deserve to live happy!

          Btw, you promised in another comment to send me some of that Grecian sun. It didn’t get here. Could you plz re-send?!

  3. I”m also packing Sylver … maybe we can take the same flight out. This is what I hope for for our country ~ that some day (and hopefully sooner rather than later), we’ll be up in the top ten. How sweet! Hope you have a fun weekend.

    • Yay! Girl trip! :) And let’s get those tiny little airplane bottles of rum & toast to America making it into the top happiness 10. :)

      You have a sweet weekend, too Patricia!

  4. Pingback: Dense Danish Design | Sylver Blaque

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