Is there a happy place to live on earth? A place not motivated by greed or money for happiness? The world is consumed by poverty, strife, homelessness, violence and war. Where can we go to find health, comfort, peace and just simply nice people? In America we worry about jobs, health care, cost of education, race relations, safety, politics and greed to name a few. Most countries in the Middle East are destroyed. The Ukraine and Russian people are starving. China is polluted. Europe is overflowing with new immigrants. Poverty has taken over Latin America and Africa is run by greedy dictators. Where is a nice place to live?
Yes, we can ski in Switzerland, gamble in Monte Carlo or go to the Caribbean to swim but those are very special vacation destinations. I just want a good place to live. The United Nations has a Global Happiness Report that they put out each year and they just released the most recent report. According to them the happiest place on earth is the small country of nearly 6 million people called Denmark. There are no tropical beaches there and it has nearly 50% of its days raining yet the people who live in Denmark are happy. Why? What makes Denmark the happiest place in the world?
The World Happiness Report ranks the happiness level of 156 countries in the world. Denmark consistently is ranked at the top of the list or nearly at the top each year followed by places like Iceland, Norway, Finland and Canada. The United States usually ranks at about 15 on the list. All people want to live well with money in their pocket as well as money in the bank. They want to be healthy and safe from oppression and crime. Americans love to chant that we are number one but we just aren’t.
Let us look at what Denmark offers to its people. They have free health care, free education for all, a woman or man receives free paid maternity leave for a year. They also receive five weeks of paid vacation each year. WOW! We don’t get any of that here in America and with Trump as president, it seems that things will be getting worse in perks for the Americans. The success rate in Denmark is because they focus on the welfare and not ignore the welfare system. They invest in services that offer a quality of life for all.
Nothing good is free so the people of Denmark pay a high price for their excellent services. They pay high taxes to pay for all the services to the tune of as much as 60% but ask any citizen there and they will tell you that it is worth it for the comfort the taxes pay for. Their quality of life is better because of the benefits they receive. Denmark as a result has one of the highest income equality and lowest poverty rates of any western nation. Social mobility is high because they are given the basics of life so they can prosper in their personal lives. They are a privately owned market economy. They compete at the top of the game in technology, science and believe in the quality of education.
The people are content but the place has the highest cancer rate in the world. Why? The Danish cancer survival rate is among the worst in Europe. Large portions of the population are drunk. They love a cocktail there. Still, they are happy. The population is home from work to have dinner with their families. They have a Danish term called hygge pronounced hugah that means be happy and they are. So try to enjoy life’s simple pleasures with a happy family.