The World’s Happinest Nations: Damn You Denmark!

In the Peanuts cartoons, it was considered that happiness is a warm puppy; someone to love and someone to love you unconditionally.

peanuts snoopy happiness puppy

Real life has it that happiness is a combination of money, health, education, wealth, and the occasional blond girl. Danmark, full of blond girls that also happens to be a country with a healthy and educated population placed in at number one as the happiest people on Earth in a study released by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The poll was conducted by Gallup World Poll and questioned 136,000 people between 2005 and 2006 in 132 countries.

The rest of the happy people? Finland, Norway, The Netherlands, Costa Rica, Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand, Sweden, Austria, Australia, United States, Belgium, Brazil and Panama round out the top 15 happiest countries.

If you happen to live in the Nordic Region (sorry Iceland, that volcano doesn’t bode well) or in Central and Northern America, you should be a happy person. Not a happy person because of the insufferable winters in the arctic regions? Then you screwed up pal, because the Danes, Swedes, Norwegians, Finns, and Canadians love their snow so much they are damn happy people (I have 42 reasons and an awesome Swedish house to prove it).

The 2006 World Happiness Map from WHO
happiness map oecd

Of course, Danes also have the highest amount of burnout and psychological problems in the world but we will ignore that. After all, the Danes seem to be happy about a messed up work force and their Carlsberg beers.

17 thoughts on “The World’s Happinest Nations: Damn You Denmark!”

  1. Yes, I love my snow. I moved 10 degrees north to enjoy it even more! ;)

    Actually, I prefer it on the mountains, so I can board them, yet not have to walk in it while in the city.

  2. Lol – oooo, you Canadians, you so funny!

    What is with the spoons in that video?!

  3. These happiness studies are insane. First of all, happiness is overrated. But, in the end, most people who say they’re happy are lying. In addition, happiness can be interpreted by different people in different ways. For example, when I look at Tony’s purple monster with green arms, I get happy.

    I get happy when I think about “The Free to Be You and Me” book. There’s a song in there…..”It’s allright to cry, crying gets the sad out of you.” So true

  4. @Gabriel – How is happiness overrated?!!? Would you rather just walk around all day and mope and be depressed?

    Happiness is a huge factor in my life. If I’m not happy, I’m not enjoying myself and the current situation, so I need to fix it. Like Barney from HIMYM says “When I am sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story.” I live by that!

  5. I like Tony’s purple monster, it makes me giggle.

    Happiness is overrated in the sense that it is difficult to measure. The only real easy way to ensure some amount of happiness is meeting basic needs: food, shelter, health.

    Andrew’s happiness is different from mine and it’s even more difficult to merge our scale of interpretation of it.

  6. Well to be honest. Sweden shouldt rate that high. It sucks to grow old here. I mean it REALLY sucks big time. it is probably better to die than to be retired here for many. My dad for example. He has been working and payed taxes since he was 15, before they changed the retirement system he would have been able to enjoy his retirement, but they changed it all and well, when he retires I will be the one who will pay for his food and every other thing he will need. Because the money he will get wouldt even be enough to only pay rent and buy the cheapest food you can get. In short. it wouldt event be enough to survive with dignity while living with a roof over your head.

    Nope sweden really sucks for many, you do NOT want to grow old here. It might be fun here before that but really, I repeat you do NOT want to grow old here.

    Funny part is that commericals for retirement funds tells us to save for our retirement, but that is impossible since everything we could put away would go to our parents to make sure they can at the very least get 3 meals a day and some kind of enjoyement out of life.

  7. I don’t know how to say this in a constructive way…. this and similar studies are BS and don’t mean anything. In many countries it is ‘not done’ to admit to being happy. In other countries it is ‘not done’ to say you are unhappy. It’s a cultural thing.
    Hugs, from a happy Dutch social scientist :)

  8. @ Björn: Well, then your dad must have done something wrong when he was saving for his pension. Both my parents will enjoy a fairly good pension and they are by no means millionaires. And my grandparents got a fairly good pension as well, and they worked as teachers so they were not a high income household. They don’t live in luxury and excess but it’s not like they have to grow potatoes on the balcony to live of. And I put away money for my pension and don’t have to pay my parents anything. Mind you, my parents aren’t retired yet and are still working, but I got a pretty good feeling that they wont need my money when they grow old.

    Is this a case of, “it’s not my fault, I’ll blame the government”, like everything else in Sweden? Cus I’m sure some people in this study must be retired and still feel like they live a good life, not just high-income households. I’m not saying Sweden is a paradise for old people, but I don’t think they have to starve to death when they turn 66. And Sweden do enjoy one of the highest life-spans in the world so something is obviously done right.

  9. denmark is a really nice place to live in where the people are social, open minded and kind, on the contrary to sweden where the people are tense, unsocial, and boring. the salaries here are pretty low, there are almost no apartments, the taxes are extremely high and the swedish bureaucratic system is a thing of its own. also the unemployement rate here is rocket high.

    i like USA aswell, the weather is nice (especially in the south like florida) and the people are social and tend to be kind from my experience. there are barerly any taxes there and you have a lot of options.

    the reason why i think the northern europe scored so well is because of the welfare, the weather here is shit and its dark 6 months of the year.

    //tall swede

  10. Hi everyone, I’ve been reading this site for a while now but will actually be moving to Sweden this August. Sorry for taking the conversation a bit off topic, but if anyone has any suggestions/tips for housing as a foreigner (aside from Sapphire’s incredibly useful blog posts!) that would be great… I will be staying in Stockholm for at least a year.

  11. Hi Jo. Welcome to Sweden! Why don’t you post on the original posts I wrote about apartment hunting. I’m sure people have nuggets they could share. Just don’t want this post to be about housing. It’s about bashing Denmark. :)

  12. I love my COsta Rica, super weather, full beach!!!! Bu I would LOVE to bring a beautiful blue eyes blonde swedish girl with me!!!! Could have a super sexy summer here with full friendship and love!!!! Here in COsta Rica wwe are SUPER HAPPY.. why??? because life is beautiful!

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