Nordic countries 'happiest' in the world
February 11, 2013
If you are seeking a way to improve your overall happiness in life, you might want to consider moving to a Nordic country. According to the recent ‘World Happiness Report’, commissioned by the United Nations, Denmark has taken the top spot for the ‘happiest’ country overall, followed by Finland, Norway and the Netherlands.
Based on a "life evaluation score," which is rated on a scale of 0-to-10, the report, published by the Earth Institute found that these four countries scored the highest on the scale. Political freedom, strong social networks and lack of corruption are judged together to be more important than income, while at an individual level, good mental and physical health, family stability, good relationships and job security are vital. The study also takes into account measurements from previous reports on happiness from the Gallup World Poll, the World Values Survey, the European Values Survey, and the European Social Survey.
According to this recent article featured on the Science Nordic website, the Nordic countries consistently do so well in happiness stakes due to their welfare structure, which equally distributes social services and benefits to the entire population, rather than selectively favouring the wealthy. This is also facilitated by good tax administration and collection, low levels of corruption and good economic planning.
The article also refers to an interview with Bo Rothstein, professor at the Department of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, in which he mentions: “Social programmes such as old-age pensions, healthcare, childcare, education, child allowances and health insurance are not targeted at ‘the poor’ but instead cover the entire population without consideration of their ability to pay.”