Why Danes are happy

In: Uncategorized

5 Aug 2007

For anyone who has wondered why Denmark often comes top in happiness league tables a Times (London) article (31 July) by Barry Turner tries to explain it. The key factors he identifies are trust, a celebration of ordinariness and exclusivity. Politicians and employers are trusted to do the best for the country as a whole. Genuine poverty is rare and the super-rich keep a low profile. And, despite appearances, the Danes keep some distance between themselves and others.

The article concludes:

“So there it is. Happiness is having a comfortable lifestyle without being swept up by competitive consumption. It is a feeling of belonging, of knowing and accepting the rules of the club. It is realising that leisure is to be enjoyed and that work is not the sole purpose of life. It is a cold beer on a long, warm summer evening.”

I am not sure how far this goes in explaining the apparent happiness of the Danes but it merits further examination.

Comment Form