LIFESTYLE: Why Finland And Denmark Are Happier Than The U.S. – Video

LIFESTYLE: Why Finland And Denmark Are Happier Than The U.S. – Video

CNBC – 2,737,599 views – Jan 9, 2020

What does it take to be happy? The Nordic countries seem to have it all figured out. Finland and Denmark have consistently topped the United Nations’ most prestigious index, The World Happiness Report, in all six areas of life satisfaction: income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity.

Each year, a group of happiness experts from around the globe rank 156 countries based on how “happy” citizens are, and they publish their findings in the World Happiness Report. Happiness might seem like an elusive concept to quantify, but there is a science to it.    

When researchers talk about “happiness,” they’re referring to “satisfaction with the way one’s life is going,” Jeff Sachs, co-creator of the World Happiness Report and a professor at Columbia University, tells CNBC Make It. “It’s not primarily a measure of whether one laughed or smiled yesterday, but how one feels about the course of one’s life,” he says.

Since the report began in 2012, Nordic countries — which include Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland, plus the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Aland — consistently turn up at the top of the list. (The United States, on the other hand, typically lands somewhere around 18th or 19th place.)

Learn more about work-life balance secrets from the happiest countries in the world on CNBC Make It:

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  • WIC  On 12/04/2020 at 12:41 am

    Is it possible that having homogeneous ethnic populations, culture and perhaps work ethic, the Nordic countries are better positioned to produce and enjoy their fruits of labour while having concerns about the environment? just wondering.

  • brandli62  On 12/04/2020 at 5:19 am

    I am living in Switzerland, which is also known to have a high standard of living. The country of 8.5 million people shares four different indigenous languages and has welcomed immigrants from over the world. More than 20% of the populations are immigrants. Binational couples have a prevalence of 30-40%. The country is a federal state composed of 26 cantons that have far-reaching autonomy. The constitution is modelled along the US constitution, but it contains elements of direct democracy. Any law passed by parliament can be challenged to be decided in a nation-wide popular vote. This forces parliament to pass laws that are in the interest of the large majority of the people. In my humble opinion, Guyana and it’s people would profit enormously from the introduction of elements of direct democracy. It would end the winner takes it all situation after each general election. It would lead to more inclusive and consensus politics.

    • the only  On 12/04/2020 at 2:36 pm

      You should leave the people of Guyana alone, in my humble opinion.

      • brandli62  On 12/05/2020 at 2:25 am

        @the only: Everybody knows that that political system in Guyana has lots of problems. Hence, I do not see why we should not tap the Guyanese diaspora for ideas, given that many of us have been living for decades in countries that run their affairs differently. We should use GO as a platform for discussion and not to shut it off, IMHO.

      • Dennis Albert  On 12/06/2020 at 6:37 pm

        When that 20 billion barrel of oil done, and the PPP owes the oil companies hundreds of billions, if not trillion, of dollars in exploration costs, Switzerland and the other white countries should ban every PPP supporter from entering their countries.

        I know where the PPP government is going with the initiation of caging Haitians and treating Dr. Vincent Adams like he is a deportee. I fully well know where this is going.

  • Wilfred Carr  On 12/04/2020 at 1:20 pm

    Dr. Brandi, the phrase you use “… passing laws in the interest of the majority of the people.” is key to the success you mention in Switzerland. Put another way, what is expected is that immigrants/minorities (including the bi-racial residents born there – not even sure if they have full citizenship) fall in line and not try to change what is in place and has long worked for the majority. I believe that for many years France had been the prime example of open immigration and tolerance, but that changed as checks and balances were not put in place and swarms of people with different cultures/religion came in from North Africa; now look at the problems in France, where offspring of those immigrants never integrated and where there are some parts of Paris that the police don’t dare enter. Hopefully, the Nordic countries learn from the French experience.

    Turning to Guyana, when the British left it was a Democracy; so who changed it? you propose a return to what the then Guyana leaders destroyed? that is unlikely to occur as you have two major ethnic groups whose work ethnic and cultural approach to life are in variance with each other. Many of those who would be considered biracial/visible minorities in Guyana and experienced the violent unrest in the 60’s & other problems in the 70’s left the country as we felt that “peaceful co-existence” will forever be a dream and not in our lifetime – I am in my 81st year having left at age 37 and it remains an illusion.

    Democracy in Guyana moving forward? that could only come about by such brutal suppression that those in charge would be judged as being guilty of crimes against humanity or perhaps generously, benevolent dictators. From this distance, the real problem in many parts of the “free world” is that too many leaders of minority groups are vocal and push for change/equality but silent on the responsibilities minorities have in the society. By the way Dr. Brandi, I do enjoy sparring with you.

    • brandli62  On 12/06/2020 at 10:25 am

      Wilfred, many thanks for you insightful comments. Regarding France, I agree that the French have indeed huge problems with the integration of immigrant populations into the French mainstream society. There are entire neighbourhoods that are largely populated by immigrants from the former French colonies in North Africa and Sub-saharan Africa and increasingly also from Eastern Europe, such as Romania (Roma) and Russia (Chechnya). For these immigrants and their children, mostly holding French citizenships, it is difficult to move upwards on the social ladder. There is definitely easier to find a job if you have a French sounding last name than a Arab or African one. Given the high unemployment in these neighbourhoods, crime is high, there is drug dealing, and they are a fruitful soils for religious extremists to recruit frustrated juveniles. You find similar “ghetto” type areas in Swedish cities (Malmö, Stockholm), Denmark and some downtown areas in Germany, where people live in there ethnic bubble and fail to integrate in the mainstream society. By contrast, Swiss communities actively prevent the formation of ethnically homogenous neighbourhoods. In addition, all kids go to public schools where the have to speak one of the national languages. Most immigrant kids enter vocational training after completing mandatory schooling and by 18 they have a sufficient job skills to find jobs on the market. Once you have a regular income you are less likely to end up in crime.

    • brandli62  On 12/06/2020 at 10:47 am

      “Turning to Guyana, when the British left it was a Democracy; so who changed it? you propose a return to what the then Guyana leaders destroyed?”

      Before answering this question, I have to say that I am not familiar with all the details of the Guyanese political system. In general, I believe that you should rather reform and build on the existing structures rather than trying to start from scratch to reinvent the wheel. Here are some ideas.

      1) Retain proportional representation, which is the fairest way of representing the people’s will.

      2) Give the electorate the possibility to vote for candidates (representing parties or being independent) instead of party lists. At present, the Guyanese choose a party, who decides who they send to parliament.

      3) Introduce the rule that any law passed by parliament can be challenged in a popular vote. This will require that 10’000 valid signatures are collected from registered voters within 100 days. This rule will force the ruling party or parties to craft laws that are in the interest of the majority of the people and that are unlikely to be challenged in a nation wide vote.

      Go to this link for more information on the Swiss system:

    • brandli62  On 12/06/2020 at 10:49 am

      “By the way Dr. Brandi, I do enjoy sparring with you.”
      Glad to hear and that’s what GO should all be about.
      P.S. My full name is Andre Brandli (and Brandi)

  • wally n  On 12/06/2020 at 12:15 pm

    “Most immigrant kids enter vocational training after completing mandatory schooling and by 18 they have a sufficient job skills to find jobs on the market”
    What was the purpose of dumping these people into the country, What happens to the countries they came from, what happens when all young men leave their country???
    Most come from crime ridden, war ridden societies, the elites live above way up high, ordinary people feel the pain. As trudeau, jackass says, small price to pay for world progress.
    Maybe it might be better to start working at the source, build the trade schools in their countries, integration /Diversity is best served slowly, slowly.
    BTW Canada had this almost well done, until liberals start tinkering!

  • brandli62  On 12/06/2020 at 2:40 pm

    Wally, primary school is mandatory in Switzerland as in all countries. I will refrain to comment on the other points raised as do not get the point.

  • wally n  On 12/06/2020 at 3:07 pm

    Just wondering WHY ARE THEY THERE?

    • brandli62  On 12/06/2020 at 3:43 pm

      @wally n: Immigration to Switzerland happens by three primary mechanisms: 1) immigrants have a job offer from a Swiss-based company; 2) they move to Switzerland because they got married a Swiss citizen (true for hetero- and same sex unions) and hence are entitled to residency in Switzerland (aka a greeen card); and 3) they are recognised as refugees. Unemployment is typically below 4% and with an ageing population there is a constant demand from highly skilled labor that cannot be supplied solely by Swiss residents.

  • wally n  On 12/06/2020 at 3:59 pm

    “they are recognised as refugees” How many and by whom, European Elites??
    There in lies the problem. If you use “there is a constant demand from highly skilled labor that cannot be supplied solely by Swiss residents” 99% probably will not qualify.
    Canada has a Somalian Minister of Immigration, there is over one million undocumented,…. highly skilled, I think not. Plus a lil sumptin called Trafficking.
    1 and 2 was quite what Canada had, you know, check em before you let em.
    Totally out of hand, people far away now directing the flow, not caring about the consequences.
    BTW I am an immigrant, but a grateful one.

  • Dennis Albert  On 12/06/2020 at 6:43 pm

    Does being of Somalian background make one into a barbarian, according to the PPP supporters?

    What if Somalia was a brown or yellow country? Would the Canadian politician be referred to as the Somalian?

  • wally n  On 12/06/2020 at 7:37 pm

    Nothing to do with colour, but, don’t use filling vacancies just to bring in loads of people, that’s probably more Globalism, eugenics, far away manipulation.
    Years ago a famous Canadian brought in many many Eastern Europeans tradesmen, killed the apprentice programs, until the government brought in, hire two train one.There are NO jobs for these people, plus many don’t want/need to.
    I have no problem with any country being selective with refugees and or immigrants, they know what is best, unfortunately mass migration is deep into human trafficking, and bribery.

    • Dennis Albert  On 12/07/2020 at 7:20 am

      Then explain it without using racially charged slurs. The Canadian foreign minister is educated and is “liberal” despite coming from a culture which frowns on liberal values such as homosexuality and women rights. I don’t believe that it’s fair to slur him as the Somalian.

      Calling a black Canadian-Muslim lawyer a ‘Somalian’ is usually a racial slur like calling an Indo-Caribbean person a “Pakistani” but using the first four letters.

      Corporations and billionaires benefit from mass immigration. While the nationalist in Norway or France is busy ammo-ing away at a place of worship for non-whites, the richest 1% are laughing all the way to the bank while creating a refugee crisis in the Mid-East.

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