A survey is conducted each year and they ask people from 156 countries to rate their level of happiness while being a citizen of that nation. Later a group of experts carefully go through the reasons and the scale of happiness and publish their research.
Lo and behold, Danes seem to be the happiest people among other nationalities on this planet each and every year. Why is that so? Although happiness is subjective and everyone defines it differently, on this occasion, there is science behind it. On this aspect, happiness is defined as being content with their living circumstances.
Reasons behind these statistics
According to the experts, one feels satisfied and happy when one sees everyone around as socially equal and gets a sense of togetherness. Additionally, work-life balance is cherished in Denmark and is considered vital for a healthy mindset.
- Working hours: It is essential for each and everyone to work and put in some hours to be a productive member of society. This statement is true, however, we have taken it to the extreme and created a world where overtime is considered a norm. In Denmark, the average working hours are 35-36 hours per week even in the corporate world which means their day is comprised of 7 hours of work which is way less compared to 44 hours per week in the US. Researchers say that fewer working hours mean a person will be more productive and will cause fewer errors resulting in an efficient workday and less mental fatigue.
- Stress leaves: In Denmark, stress is considered a type of disability that can heavily alter a person’s decision-making, ruin their career and cause issues in their personal life. So the Danish government allows professionals to take a leave due to stress and recollect themselves. Not to mention they still get paid around $2000 per month. As they see it, it is important for individuals to work in a stress-free environment to be efficient, happy, and contributive to the nation.
- 5 weeks paid vacation: Yes, you read that right. Full-time working individuals are guaranteed a five-week paid vacation, this might sound like a dream to most people but this nordic nation provides such benefits to ensure that a healthy work-life balance is actually maintained. Just to put that in perspective on average a US employee receives about 15 days of paid vacation if they are lucky.
- Hygge: Pronounced as hoo-ga, a dutch word that roughly translates to spending quality time with loved ones without any kind of rush. Anyone who’s researched about Denmark must be familiar with its vast number of cafes and restaurants with their cozy sitting and overall relaxed ambiance. However, it is not just limited to sittings, a casual walk through the woods or bird watching are also considered hygge. It is a great concept that must be implemented in other nations as well.
- Taxes: Taxes are something that nobody likes to talk about, but the worse thing about taxes in most nations is their unfairness to keep the poor down and profit the rich. In Denmark, people are happy to pay taxes as much as half of their income plus some more on certain items. But why is that so? It’s because they can actually see what their money is being spent. Childcare is subsidized, roads are kept in pristine condition, no tuition fees even in universities, healthcare is absolutely free, and the elderly receives pension and caretakers.
Overall, Danes have a mindset of equality. They believe in a society that satisfies the working and helps the needy.
Denmark truly is an actual representation of Utopia.