COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Denmark, perhaps better known for its fictional, suicide-agonizing prince Hamlet and fierce marauding Vikings than being a nation of the happiest people, has just won that very accolade. Again.
Even U.S. Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have singled out the small Scandinavian country as an example of a happy, well-oiled society. On Wednesday, the United Nations made it official: It found Danes to be the happiest people on Earth in a study of 156 countries.
Knud Christensen, a 39-year-old social worker, knows one reason why his compatriots are laid-back – they feel secure in a country with few natural disasters, little corruption and a near absence of drastic events.
“We have no worries,” Christensen said, smiling as he stood on a Copenhagen street. “And if we do worry, it’s about the weather.”
The Scandinavian nation of 5.6 million has held the happy title twice before since the world body started measuring happiness around the world in 2012. The accolade is based on: People’s health and access to medical care, family relations, job security and social factors, including political freedom and level of government corruption.
The next happiest nations last year were Switzerland, Iceland and Norway. The United States was in 13th place.