The results show that the happiest place on earth is 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?
Well, 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.
But 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.
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 mine. I 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.
For 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.
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!
What say you about the happiest country in the world?
Can you see yourself living there?