Hygge and Happiness by Meik Wiking

Posted by Laura Paulisich on

"Today, political leaders from around the world are expressing an interest in why some societies are happier than others. At the same time, countries are taking steps to measure their success as a society - not only from how much the economy grows, but also from how much their lives are improved, not just by the standard of living but quality of life.

Robert Kennedy pointed this out more than forty years ago: 'The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials...it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.'

Why are Danes so happy?

The welfare state (reduces uncertainty, worries, and stress in the population):

universal and free health care

free university education

relatively generous unemployment benefits

A high level of trust in Denmark

A high level of freedom

A high level of wealth and good governance and a well-functioning civil society

Hygge and the pursuit of everyday happiness


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