Go to Denmark if you want a happy life, says UN report

by Ray Clancy on April 5, 2012

Expats in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands are the happiest, says UN

Expats seeking a happy life should consider the Nordic countries as Denmark, Norway, Finland and the Netherlands have been found to be the happiest in the world by a United Nations commissioned research report.

Their average life evaluation score is 7.6 on a 0 to 10 scale and political freedom, strong social networks and an absence of corruption are judged together to be more important than income.

At an individual level, good mental and physical health, someone to count on, job security and stable families are judged to be crucial, the first ever World Happiness published by the Earth Institute shows.

According to co-editor Jeffrey Sachs, it reflects a new worldwide demand for more attention to happiness and absence of misery as criteria for government policy. It reviews the state of happiness in the world today and shows how the new science of happiness explains personal and national variations in happiness.

Happier countries tend to be richer countries. But more important for happiness than income are social factors like the strength of social support, the absence of corruption and the degree of personal freedom.

Over time as living standards have risen, happiness has increased in some countries, but not in others, for example, the United States.

‘The United States, has achieved striking economic and technological progress over the past half century without gains in the self reported happiness of the citizens. Instead, uncertainties and anxieties are high, social and economic inequalities have widened considerably, social trust is in decline, and confidence in government is at an all-time low. Perhaps for these reasons, life satisfaction has remained nearly constant during decades of rising Gross National Product (GNP) per capita,’ said Sachs.

On average, the world has become a little happier in the last 30 years by 0.14 times the standard deviation of happiness around the world.

The research found that unemployment causes as much unhappiness as bereavement or separation. At work, job security and good relationships do more for job satisfaction than high pay and convenient hours.

Behaving well also makes people happier. The report says that mental health is the biggest single factor affecting happiness in any country. Yet only a quarter of mentally ill people get treatment for their condition in advanced countries and fewer in poorer countries.

Stable family life and enduring marriages are important for the happiness of parents and children. It also found that in advanced countries, women are happier than men, while the position in poorer countries is mixed and happiness is lowest in middle age.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

jalal khan May 3, 2013 at 8:48 am

i want to immigrate to denmark please help me thank you i am from afghanistan

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