Monday, 7 July 2008

Danes are happiest in the world

Denmark has yet again come out as the happiest nation on Earth.

The World Values Survey, published by the United States National Science Foundation, asked people in 97 countries to rate how happy they were by gauging their responses to two questions:

1) Taking all things together, would you say you are very happy, rather happy, not very happy, or not at all happy?

2) All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?

Behind the smug Danes, the sun-kissed inhabitants of Puerto Rico came second, followed by Colombia, Iceland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada and Austria.

Great Britain managed 21st spot while the USA – the world’s richest nation – came 16th. Bottom of the poll, perhaps unsurprisingly, was hyper-inflated Zimbabwe, with Armenia, Moldova and Belarus almost equally miserable. Indeed, many of the countries deemed gloomiest had histories of repressive regimes or turbulent power struggles.

So what is the secret to Danish happiness? No hills? Bacon?

It seems happiness is all relative. In an interview with CBS, Professor Christensen of the University of Southern Denmark remarked that, “it’s because they’re so glum [they] get happy when things turn out not quite as badly as they expected.”

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