Scandinavia is a large region of northern Europe and includes the following countries: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. The world happiest report has repeatedly rated the Scandinavian countries to be some of the most happiest in the world. Despite the cold gloomy weather and high taxes the Scandinavians are the happiest as their countries are famous for it’s sense of well being, great community spirit and social support.
In Scandinavian countries there is a lot of neighbourly support between citizens and a huge amount of state support programmes for those who are in need. People want the feeling of security and benefit from a community they can trust and count on, this is an environment that the Scandinavians have done better in creating. The Danes for example pay the highest tax – anything from up to 51.5% of their income for a high earner. But Danish people don’t complain as the tax is reinvested in society through a range of social programmes such as free healthcare, free university, plenty of unemployment benefits and generous maternity leave. Danish people see it as an investments rather then a tax, they see it as purchasing a quality of life.
If you ask a Scandinavian what makes them so happy to be living in their country, most will reply that they feel secure, all their basic needs are met and they don’t have to fear being broke. They have very little to stress about since their social programs provide so much support. Everyone has a chance at achieving higher education whereas in countries like the USA and the UK those who come from low income households struggle to afford university and tend to turn to work at low minimum wage paid jobs to get by.
Scandinavians also tend to have the best work life balance, organisations in these countries feel it’s important to give their employees family time. They are granted almost five weeks of holiday per year and if you don’ take them it’s frowned upon. Scandinavians are very hard working and are less likely to drink during the week, rather they save all the fun for the weekend or vacations.
The community in Scandinavian countries is very strong, socialism only works when everyone is involved. Intertwined with that sense is a shared responsibility to take care of each other and watch out for people’s health. To do this Scandinavians have a very chill out relax together culture. The Danes do ‘Hygge’ which is a term to describe a feeling of cosiness, happiness, kinship or general comfortable indulgences to bond together. Finns have their saunas, a old sacred tradition which dates back thousands of years and is a great way for people to bond. The Swedes have their ‘fika’ which translates to coffee but is otherwise known as a mandatory cultural social hour. The Scandinavians all have a ‘coffee culture’ in which they put aside their phones and get together with friends for a chat over coffee.
That’s just a few reasons why Scandinavian countries are the best, why not check out our working holiday to Denmark to see all the other reasons why!