It’s not the top spot, but we’ll take it.
The World Happiness Report has compiled data on the happiness of citizens across the world for years, and Denmark once reigned supreme as the happiest of the world’s countries. However, the report published just a few days ago now has Denmark in third place, behind Finland and Iceland.
Just behind Denmark is Switzerland in fourth place and the Netherlands in fifth. So, not a bad score for Denmark but it has slipped down the scored board in the past few years. However, the results are based on surveys completed in 2020, so we can hope that post-pandemic life will once again boost Denmark up to the top of the scoreboard, eventually.
As the results were collected and compiled, certain things stood out to the analysts which shone a favourable light on Denmark and the impact that the pandemic had had on the happiness of its citizens. The analysts found that social trust plays a large part in the happiness of a country’s residents, and even in the country’s Covid-19 death rates. The researchers asked people whether they thought a stranger would return their wallet if they lost it, and they found that death rates were lower in countries where people did trust each other to return lost wallets, an example of which is Denmark.
However, they also found that income equality had an impact on whether or not people trusted one another. In countries like Mexico, where there is a higher discrepancy between the lowest and highest wages of citizens, people seemed to trust one another less to return their personal belongings, and this decreased Mexico’s happiness score. Denmark has less of a gap between the highest and lowest wages, which seems to have boosted the happiness score. The study states that: ‘inequality of subjective well-being is an even
stronger predictor of social trust’.
Another fascinating finding is that generally, women in Europe have been more likely to lose their jobs than men have. However, in Sweden, Portugal and Denmark this has not been the case. So, whilst it can be tempting to think of the pandemic as something that impacts everyone’s happiness in the same way, the world over, the data does not suggest this. You can read the full report here.