Find out why the people of Denmark are among the happiest in the world.
Apparently, the happiest people in the world live in northern Europe. According to a 156-country study, done by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Denmark, Norway, and Switzerland are the happiness leaders of 2013, with Denmark as a continual front-runner. This is a perfect reason to have your vacation in Denmark.
In 2012, Denmark was also ranked as the ‘happiest', based on factors such as healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, and social support. The 2013 report was even more detailed than the previous year's in an effort to encourage legislators and policy-makers to take their citizens' well-being into account when making important decisions.
The Danish responsibility
Now, for the important question: How can Denmark, a country that gets less than seven hours of sunlight during the winter, get labeled the happiest? According to a government study of ‘Danish responsibility', Danes are happy because they feel responsible for one another and enjoy contributing to society. In Denmark, ordinary citizens give their time and effort to making the society work. Almost half of all Danes volunteer their time to various organizations, and there are plenty to choose from. The government, feeling that sense of responsibility, is dedicated to its citizens, as well.
Clean and green
In addition to their societal contributions, Danes also take pride in being part of their own democratic system of government. During the 2011 elections, almost 90% of the country voted; consequently, Denmark is not just the world happiness leader, but also the leader in democracy of the over 30 countries evaluated by the University of Zurich and the Social Science Research Center Berlin. The Danes' pride for their country extends into their care of it, as well.
A country that promotes cleanliness and green energy, Denmark is full of cyclists. Though this may seem like a trivial thing, think about it; the citizens get more exposure to sunlight, fewer traffic jams and accompanying stress, lower fuel usage and cost, and plenty of endorphin-releasing exercise. There is a huge urban emphasis on sustainability and the ‘green' lifestyle. Twenty percent of their electricity production is from wind power. Their greatest renewable resource is biomass (70%). The government has even put out the ultimatum that they are trying for 100% of their energy supply to come from renewables by 2050.
If you're happy and you know it …
One of the most famous Danish sayings translates to: “There is no bad weather, only bad clothes,” a phrase that Icelanders have also made their own. Danes themselves attribute their happiness to this kind of attitude; based on realistic expectations. Perhaps when it is the reality to live in a country that has beautiful urban design, stunning historical architecture, gastronomic delicacies, low crime, and a social welfare back up system, realistic expectations will make you the happiest of all. So go ahead, clap your hands for the Danes.
Get Copenhappy and find cheap flights to Copenhagen, Denmark, from Boston and Washington, D.C. with WOW air.
By Katie Ware