Denmark was chosen by the UN as the happiest country in the world. They got to that conclusion by asking citizens of different country to rank their lives based on these factors: Real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, freedom to make life choices, generosity and freedom from corruption.
Denmark came on top. The USA came in at # 17 after Canada and Mexico.
Here are some explanations why it’s such a happy place.
- Health care is a right. Each citizen has his own family doctor who coordinates all treatments.
- Maternity leave – Parents can decide which one of them takes time off and when. A couple is allowed to take 52 weeks of maternity leave with 100% pay.
- Early childhood education – Is free or almost free, enabling mothers to go back to work.
- Parity – Denmark let women vote in 1905 (15 years before the US). In the 70’s Denmark, Sweden and Norway had quotas for hiring women. Since then, so many women went into politics and the atmosphere of the country changed that the quotas were deems unnecessary and were canceled.
- They care about each other, help each other survive the harsh winter months. There is even a term for cuddling and being together.
- They are proud and care about their country. In the last elections 88% of the population voted.
- They ride bikes. They say that in Copenhagen 50% of the trips to work and school are done by bike.
And yes, they have a female Prime Minister.
“Unlike in America, where bestsellers goad already overworked and underpaid women to Lean In even further, the assumption in Denmark is that feminism is a collective goal, not an individual pursuit.” Says Katie J. M. Baker, in an article in Dissent Magazine.