Danes are the second happiest people in the world

Denmark is still one of the top happiest places on the planet, the 2017 UN World Happiness Report reveals.

Denmark holds on to its longstanding position as one of the happiest nations in the world in the newly published 2017 edition of the World Happiness Report by the UN.

Denmark comes second place out of 156 economies worldwide, having claimed the top spot in 2013, 2014 and 2016.

Work-life balance is crucial for happiness

Work and employment plays a major role in shaping people’s happiness, the report shows.

Although the sound of the alarm clock may not be a favourite on a Monday morning, the overwhelming importance of having a job for happiness is evident throughout the report. And while wages definitely matter, work-life balance emerges as a particularly strong predictor of happiness.

“Money is only one predictive measure of happiness — work-life balance, job variety and the level of autonomy are other significant drivers”, said co-author of the report, Professor Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.

Related news: The ten things I'll miss most about living in Denmark

37-hour work week in Denmark

With a working week of 37 hours, work-life balance is a cornerstone of Danish business culture, and employees experience a high degree of autonomy and empowerment at work.

“The Danish working culture is characterised by a high degree of flexibility. In Greater Copenhagen, you can have an interesting job, pursue your career ambitions and be an attentive parent at the same time. In fact, not having to worry about spending too little time with your family is one of the main reasons why many expats say that living in Denmark is great”, says Nikolaj Lubanski, Director of Talent Attraction, Copenhagen Capacity.

Related news: Copenhagen is the best city for expats in Scandinavia

Happiness is much more than GDP

The World Happiness Report 2017 looks at trends in the data recording how highly people evaluate their lives on a scale running from 0 to 10. The rankings are based on surveys including 3,000 respondents in 156 countries covering the years 2014-2016.

Six key variables are used: GDP per capita, healthy years of life expectancy, social support (as measured by having someone to count on in times of trouble), trust (as measured by a perceived absence of corruption in government and business), perceived freedom to make life choices, and generosity (as measured by recent donations).

See the 2017 UN World Happiness Report here.