Danes are the second happiest people in the world

Denmark comes second in the World Happiness Report 2020 which ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. The country’s capital city, Copenhagen, ranks fifth among the world’s happiest cities.

While it may seem like a strange time to be evaluating happiness, with the coronavirus sweeping the globe, we still need happy news.

And there is indeed happy news for everyone living in or considering moving to Denmark:

Denmark holds on to its longstanding position as one of the happiest nations in the world in 2020 edition of the World Happiness Report.

“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”

- Nikolaj Lubanski, Director of Talent Attraction, Copenhagen Capacity

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The Nordic countries take the lead

Denmark comes second place out of 156 economies worldwide, improving its score from last year, and only one step away from the top spot which Denmark claimed in 2013, 2014 and 2016.

The top 3 countries on the list are Finland, Denmark and Switzerland, followed by Iceland, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand, Austria and Luxembourg.

Copenhagen is the fifth happiest city in the world

The World Happiness Report 2020 for the first time ranks cities around the world by their subjective well-being and digs more deeply into how the social, urban and natural environments combine to affect our happiness.

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“Our ranking relies on city residents’ self-reports of how they themselves evaluate the quality of their lives. This bottom-up approach gives a direct voice to the population as opposed to the more top-down approach of deciding ex-ante what ought to matter for the well-being of city residents.”

- World Happiness Report 2020

Happiness is much more than GDP

The World Happiness Report 2020 uses six key variables to explain the variation of happiness across countries: GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and absence of corruption. The report does not construct its happiness measure in each country using these six factors – the scores are instead based on individuals’ own assessments of their lives.

“The most prominent explanations include factors related to the quality of institutions, such as reliable and extensive welfare benefits, low corruption, and well-functioning democracy and state institutions. Furthermore, Nordic citizens experience a high sense of autonomy and freedom, as well as high levels of social trust towards each other, which play an important role in determining life satisfaction.”

- World Happiness Report 2020

The World Happiness Report is an annual survey by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations. It was originally launched in 2012 and aims to promote equality and trust.

World’s happiest countries

  1. Finland
  2. Denmark
  3. Norway
  4. Iceland
  5. The Netherlands
  6. Switzerland
  7. Sweden
  8. New Zealand
  9. Canada
  10. Austria

World’s happiest cities

  1. Helsinki, Finland
  2. Aarhus, Denmark
  3. Wellington, New Zealand
  4. Zurich, Switzerland
  5. Copenhagen, Denmark
  6. Bergen, Norway
  7. Oslo, Norway
  8. Tel Aviv, Israel
  9. Stockholm, Sweden
  10. Brisbane, Australia

Want a job in Greater Copenhagen?

If you want to know more about pursuing a career in Greater Copenhagen, check out vacant positions at the Greater Copenhagen Career Portal.