New report explains high levels of happiness in Denmark

Denmark is often named the world’s happiest country, most recently in 2013 in the "World Happiness Report" commissioned by the UN. For the first time, the reasons for the high levels of happiness in Denmark have now been explained in a comprehensive report published by The Happiness Research Institute, a Copenhagen-based think tank.

The report entitled “The Happy Danes – Exploring the reasons behind the high levels of happiness in Denmark” explains how a strong civil society, a good work-life balance, and a high level of social security are sources of happiness.

The 8 main reasons for Danish happiness:

Three out of four Danes believe that they can trust most people. Not just people they know, but also people they don’t know – and that contributes to making life easier and happier. In global terms, only one out of four people believe they can trust most other people.

Denmark is a safe country, not just because it is relatively safe to walk the streets at night, but also because the Danish welfare state has reduced the uncertainty associated with illness, age, and unemployment by a significant amount. This social security means that Danes can live a less anxious life and thus be happier day-to-day.

According to research, it is clear that wealth does have an impact on happiness. Money is no guarantee for happiness, but a lack of money can easily lead to unhappiness.

Civil Society
There is broad agreement among happiness researchers that social relations are essential for people’s happiness. Closeness to family and friends, good neighbourly relations, and being part of other networks all contribute to happiness.

According to the World Happiness Report 2012, happiness is a result of “the ability of people to shape their own lives, and this requires a solid level of freedom.” The Danes’ freedom is enshrined in the Constitution. Personal liberty is inviolable, but unfortunately this right is far from universal.

Work-life balance
The Danes have time for family and leisure alongside their careers, and they enjoy a large degree of flexibility in the workplace. The ability to balance work and family life is essential for happiness.

Read the report "The Happy Danes - Exploring the reasons behind the high levels of happiness in Denmark"