Danes are the happiest people in Europe

The Danes are the happiest people in Europe according to a new Eurostat analysis.

20 March is International Day of Happiness. The Danes together with neighbouring Sweden and Finland have every reason to celebrate the day topping a new EU happy nations ranking by the European Union’s statistics organisation Eurostat.

A strong social safety net important to happiness
Being in good health, a stable financial situation and social relations are important to feeling happy. Denmark’s strong socioeconomic safety net contributes considerably to the country’s top ranking.

“The Danish welfare state effectively reduces the factors causing extreme unhappiness”, says Meik Wiking, director of the Danish Happiness Research Institute.

The prospect of financial instability and the lack of free access to healthcare services strongly affects our feeling of happiness. But the worst thing is losing our job because we then say goodbye to both our income and our identity, according to Wiking.

The EU happiness ranking

1. Denmark, Sweden and Finland
4. The Netherlands and Austria
6. Belgium
7. Luxembourg
8. Ireland
9. Germany, the UK and Poland
12. Rumania
13. Malta
14. France, Slovenia and Slovakia
17. Spain and Czech Republic
19. Italy and Lithuania
21. Estonia and Latvia
23. Croatia
24. Greece, Portugal, Cyprus and Hungary
28. Bulgaria

*Source: Eurostat

See Eurostat’s happiness report

Read more about the Danish Happiness Research Institute.