Why Is Denmark So Happy?

More

Once again, Denmark has been named the number one country in the world for overall well-being and life satisfaction, according to a new Gallup poll. What's its secret: good welfare? Cloudy weather? Hans Christian Anderson?

Researchers concluded it was a culture of low expectations:

"If you're a big guy, you expect to be on the top all the time and you're disappointed when things don't go well," Christensen said. "But when you're down at the bottom like us, you hang on, you don't expect much, and once in a while you win, and it's that much better."

On surveys, Danes continually report lower expectations for the year to come, compared with most other nations. And "year after year, they are pleasantly surprised to find that not everything is getting more rotten in the state of Denmark," the paper concludes.

Read the full story at the New York Times.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Saving Central: One High School's Struggle After Resegregation

Meet the students and staff at Tuscaloosa’s all-black Central High School in a short documentary film by Maisie Crow. 


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In