Every year one or another Scandinavian country becomes the happiest nation in the world. Finland has again ranked the happiest nation in 2019.
Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Netherlands, and Sweden have consistently ranked among the top ten happiest nations.
Why are Scandinavian people are the happiest? Psychologists and philosophers have set many criteria for happiness. The consider happiness as a mental state.
Scandinavian countries are the happiest – that is not based on any philosophical definition. They are the happiest according to the criteria set by the United nation.
UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network in cooperation with the Ernesto Illy Foundation releases lists the happiest countries in the world every year.
The reason why Scandinavian countries dominate top lists of happy nations is that those countries match the variables that are set by UN to judge happiness. UN uses six variables: income, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on in times of trouble, generosity, freedom, and trust ( absence of corruption in business and government).
The per capita incomes of Scandinavian countries are very high. Although according to IMF and World Bank, there are some other countries have higher per capita income than Scandinavian countries but those countries the even USA do not have the social and economic security as Scandinavian nationals.
Social and unemployment benefits cover 100% Scandinavian population. Their basic needs are met. People do not worry about being broke. The government will take care of them under any circumstances.
Health care is free in Scandinavian countries regardless of how much it cost. All states provide the high standard of elderly care. People get good health care live longer.
Scandinavian people are accommodating and compassionate. They help each other; they also help disabled and old people when they are in need even though they do not know them. People never leave people in need before real help like ambulances arrive.
People are generally generous. They donate a lot to voluntary organizations. They work free for welfare works. People are honest. I have lost my wallets several times but got it back from people who found it ,
UN measure trust by the absence of corruption. Denmark and other Scandinavian are listed as least corrupt countries by Transparent International.
Scandinavian countries are pleased countries according to criteria of UN. But many researchers challenge if these countries are pleased according to some most accepted definitions of happiness
There is serious doubt if Scandinavian people are very happy. Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland have the highest rate of suicide and psychiatric distress that are in the top 15%-25% of the world’s nations.
One-third of the Danish population are lonely. The family bond is weak.Sometimes people die alone in their homes and neighbors or family find them when their bodies are decomposed.
The rate of divorce is also high. Middle-aged divorced people have a hard time finding partners.
UN has set only materialistic criteria to judge happiness. Scandinavian countries are very prosperous, but prosperity does not always determine happiness,