Why Are Danes The World's Happiest Nation?
December 27, 2006 1:29am CST
Earlier this year, Denmark came top in a world map of happiness (the UK ranked 41st out of 178 nations). And for more than 30 years it has ranked first in European satisfaction surveys. So what makes Danes so content? Researchers in this week's Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal decided to find out why life satisfaction in Denmark substantially exceeds that in Sweden and Finland, the two countries most similar to Denmark. Their hypotheses range from the unlikely (hair colour, genes, food and language) to the more plausible, such as family life, health and a prosperous economy. However, their analysis points to two explanatory factors. Firstly, winning the 1992 European Football Championship put Danes in such a state of euphoria that the country has not been the same since. This may explain the high level of life satisfaction in Denmark after 1992, they write.