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The Traveller's Magazine
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The United Nations has published its annual report on a very serious subject: the state of the world’s happiness. Discover which countries are happiest, at least according to the “World Happiness Report 2013.”

Numerous criteria are taken into account in order to calculate this sort of thing: political freedom, social benefits, level of corruption, etc. Economic stability and wealth (both material goods and salary incomes) don’t contribute to the recipe for happiness, at least not according to the organisers of the survey.

Higher salaries can make people happier, especially in poor societies but the feeling of community and cooperation makes people feel even happier, especially in rich countries.

Point taken. The definition of happiness varies from one person to another and from one corner of the world to another. While it’s true that the United Nations “happiness thermometer” isn’t perfect, let’s take a look at the conclusions.

  • 1. Denmark
  • 2. Norway
  • 3. Switzerland

bonheur-ONU

Without going too much into detail about the chart colours (you can read all about it in the official report), it’s clear to see that Europe is particularly well represented in the top 10. Like last year, it looks like northern Europeans are the most satisfied with their quality of life.

Denmark, world’s happiest country: Hej!

This small Scandinavian country with only 5 million inhabitants has ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world for decades. If there’s a place that can make you smile despite the grey skies and winter blues, it’s Denmark. The good thing is, it’s just as affordable as a trip to sunnier climes.

copenhagen1

Other good reasons to visit Copenhagen:

  • Copenhagen is the capital of bikes in Europe and here it’s clear that cyclists rule to roads
  • The city’s Ravnsborggade district is a mecca for bargains in the hipster and vintage shops
  • Breathe some fresh sea air on a boat trip to Hven, Broholm and Christiansø islands.

For more ideas, check out Like a local: Copenhagen.

Around Denmark and beyond:

  • Take the kids to Legoland in Billund, located in Jutland (western Denmark)
  • Wander through the Danish countryside by bike (there are over 12,000 km worth of cycle paths!)
  • Discover the wilderness of Greenland. It’s a bit of a trip but worth it.

copenhagen2

Hej Hej!

Imgs: mads boedkertramodLars plougmann / Flickr cc.

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