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Danes remain among happiest people

Danish people are second-most happy in world: AI-Photo by Dreamstudio. Prompted by Jes Andersen

The 2024 United Nations World Happiness Report is out. Denmark is the second happiest country in the world. Narrowly beaten out of first place by Finland. This marks the sixth year running where the Danes are the world’s second-happiest people.

150,000 global respondents about emotions

The annual report measures self-reported levels of happiness in 140 countries. It is based on data from Gallup World Poll, which asks over 150,000 respondents around the world about their emotions on income, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and corruption.

Measuring well-being of nations since 2012

The United Nations has measured well-being since 2012. It is not a ‘soft’ and ‘vague’ idea but rather focuses on areas of life of critical importance: material conditions, mental and physical wealth, personal virtues, and good citizenship. The variables used reflect what has been broadly found in the research literature to explain national-level differences in life evaluations.

Important factor for innovation

For an innovation district such as Copenhagen Science City, Well-being is a key performance indicator. There is a clear correlation between well-being and effective social protection, necessary infrastructure, and availability of services such as universal healthcare and basic education. All of which are important factors for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Policies to increase happiness

Governments are increasingly using this analysis to orient policies towards happiness. Peaceful states with larger state capacities are conducive to higher well-being for their residents.

Nordic top-four

The top-five is rounded out by Iceland, Sweden, and Israel, while the United Kingdom features at 20th, USA at 23rd and Singapore at 30th. Afghanistan remains bottom of the overall rankings as the world’s ‘unhappiest’ nation.