The scientific world has highlighted six lifestyle values that a country needs to be happy: high income, trust, social support, freedom, healthy life expectancy and generosity. Based on these metrics, Denmark has consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in the world. Here are the top 10 facts about living conditions in Denmark.
Top 10 Facts About Living Conditions in Denmark
- Denmark’s average household income is $28,950 a year which is slightly below the OECD average. However, 75 percent of the working populations have a paying job, which exceeds the OECD average of 67 percent.
- Denmark is a civically engaged country and the government shows concern for citizens’ needs. While 86 percent of the registered population votes, the government extended inclusivity by creating programs like MindLab. MindLab works with the Danish government to receive feedback from citizens on newly adopted procedures to make them convenient and more efficient.
- Denmark’s biking culture makes the country an environmentally-friendly place to live. In Copenhagen, Denmark’s largest city, about 35 percent of adults bike to and from work and 55 percent of children bike to and from school. Cycling policies, lanes and bridges have made it one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world.
- College-aged students do not have to worry about student loans. College students are provided with a stipend of $900 a month provided that they are currently enrolled in college and that they do not live with their parents. This program provides all students with equal opportunity to study, regardless of their financial background.
- Denmark is considered a safe and non-violent country. In a study of 351 participants, about 89 percent said they felt comfortable walking around Denmark during the day. Another 74 percent said they felt safe walking alone during the night.
- In the early 2000s, drug-related deaths in Denmark were consistently above 100 per year. In 2012, the number of drug-related deaths finally declined after the legalization of drug consumption rooms (DCRs). DCRs provide users with a safe and hygienic place to inject drugs, as well as counseling and health clinics. The legalization of these facilities has not only decreased the number of drug-related deaths in Denmark but also kept drug use out of Danish homes and neighborhoods.
- Health care in Denmark is free for all registered citizens. The national government oversees general plans, and five regions manage and finance the hospitals. Universal access to health care in Denmark is made possible by the national health tax, which claims 8 percent of taxable incomes.
- Salaries in Denmark are taxed at over 50 percent, which is more than double the worldwide average of 22.96 percent. Part of these heavy taxes contributes to housing benefits for senior citizens.
- Denmark’s welfare system has served as a global example for many years. However, the gap between the richest and poorest Danes has recently grown. A study by Ugebrevet A4 showed that 59 percent of Danes believe that the gap needs to shrink. Some claim that Denmark has deserted its solidarity principles altogether, increasing the number of impoverished Danes.
- Since 2005, Denmark has seen improvements in gender equality. After Sweden, the country scores the best out of all European Union countries in the Gender Equality Index. Denmark does especially well in creating equality when caring for children. Parental leave can be evenly split between two partners, regardless of their sex.
The top 10 facts about living conditions in Denmark listed above point to the nation’s strengths. And while no country is perfect, the Danish lifestyle’s prioritization of well being has resulted in Denmark being consistently recognized as one of the top 10 happiest places in the world since the release of the first World Happiness Report in 2012.
– Mary Clare Novak