Top 10 Happiest Countries: 1. Norway 2. Denmark 3. Finland 4. Australia 5. New Zealand 6. Sweden 7. Canada 8. Switzerland 9. Netherlands 10. United States
Norway ranked Happiest country in the World
|by Anonymous||reply 197||05/16/2012|
so why was Hamlet such a gloomy gus?
|by Anonymous||reply 1||01/24/2011|
Hamlet was from Denmark
|by Anonymous||reply 2||01/24/2011|
I know. Denmark is #2.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||01/24/2011|
He was a bit of a glass-half-empty prince, R1, and wished he was Norwegian.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||01/24/2011|
F&F R5 and R6.
|by Anonymous||reply 7||01/24/2011|
r5, r6...Canadian here who was out with a number of American colleagues recently who commented on Canada's lack of blacks. I said, no we have a black population...they're just not as angry and oppressed as yours.
But seriously...we've got a french issue here...how is that not seen as a killjoy?
|by Anonymous||reply 8||01/24/2011|
I'm very surprised, the Nordic countries used to boast the highest suicide rates, but I'm pleased the populations in these progressive lands have found a better attitude.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||01/24/2011|
The survey must have been done in the summertime.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||01/24/2011|
Obviously they excluded Toronto from the Canada numbers.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||01/24/2011|
Yeah r8, those French-Canadian are sourpusses (sourpussi?).
|by Anonymous||reply 12||01/24/2011|
All those Norweigian Catholics!
|by Anonymous||reply 13||01/24/2011|
Could universal health care have something to do with it?
|by Anonymous||reply 14||01/24/2011|
"The survey must have been done in the summertime."
I was just thinking that. In Scandinavia in late December, the sun just sort of meanders across one corner of the sky for a few hours, and that's it. In late June the sun spends all day meandering across the other 3 sides of the sky. Sunlight from 3am all the way to 10pm. It's a weird experience for visitors, and it does definitely affect the natives' collective mood.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||01/24/2011|
Norway was too smart (and oil rich) to join the EU, otherwise I'd go live there.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||01/24/2011|
Canada has a huge multicultural population - with lots of Hispanics and Blacks.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||01/24/2011|
The colder the climate, the happier the people.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||01/24/2011|
What no African nations? I guess the genocide brings them down.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||01/24/2011|
Canadian Blacks are the "good kind" of blacks, though. They're not the thugged-out ghetto blacks of the US.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||01/24/2011|
Several of these are countries where religion is not terribly important... What does that say about religion and happiness?
|by Anonymous||reply 21||01/24/2011|
R8 et R12
Va te faire enculer!
|by Anonymous||reply 22||01/24/2011|
You still can, R16. Although Norway is not part of the EU, they have an agreement with the EU that makes it possible for EU citizens to live and work in Norway.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||01/24/2011|
Most of the happiest countries tend to be pretty pro-gay.%0D %0D %0D Many of these countries have gay marriage or civil unions.%0D %0D
|by Anonymous||reply 24||01/24/2011|
New Zealand is also quite multi-cultural.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||01/24/2011|
With the exception of the US, all of the top 10 countries have small populations (with Australia and Canada having a geographical area as large as the US but 1/10th of the US population). I think that goes a long way to a more balanced and relaxed society.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||01/24/2011|
R5 and R6, you can't have been in Oslo then, where 30 % of the population is made up of immigrants, mostly black, mostly from Somalia (worst nationality ever), and muslim. They have predicted that 40-50 % of our population could be made up by immigrants by 2050. What an awesome prospect! or maybe not..
BTW, we may top the list, but I'm certainly not happy.. sure, living here isn't that bad, however, I've been personally depressed for a long time.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||01/24/2011|
R16, R23 is right. You can work here through EU, even though we're not a part of the EU, trust me.. we still have to comply to pretty much everything the EU asks of us anyway.
R21 and R24, I'd like to say you're right, but well.. you're not. Norway is still EXTREMELY conservative and Christian. It's probably the most conservative country in Scandinavia. Fjord Norway (southern and western parts of the country) still has the most amount of churches per person. I live in the bible belt, and trust me, it is not fun. Even the bitch who is suing the state because of the new marriage law is from my city, fucking tragic. People are afraid to come out here.
True, we have gay marriage in Norway, but only like 52 % of the population supports it and we NEVER would have had it if it wasn't for our left leaning gorvernment..
|by Anonymous||reply 28||01/24/2011|
[quote]I'm very surprised, the Nordic countries used to boast the highest suicide rates....
Old wives tale/U.S. right-wing propaganda. Their rates are only a wee bit higher than ours and their are plenty of countries with still higher rates.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||01/24/2011|
I thought Finns were alocholics who go on shooting rampages.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||01/24/2011|
R13, I'd just like to mention that I was the one who first brought up the fact that "Peggy" being Catholic, Norwegian AND from Bay Ridge made no sense because Bay Ridge during that time was home to many Lutheran churches for the Norwegian community. It was the Irish and Italians that were the Catholics.
I still stand by my assessment that Weiner fucked that bit up. They should've made her Irish if they insisted on her being Catholic. Ridiculous and sloppy on the writers' part.
|by Anonymous||reply 31||01/24/2011|
I don't buy that New Zealand is happy. They must've only asked the North Island because the South Island is full of miserable, bigoted assholes.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||01/24/2011|
The top 9 countries may be "happy", whatever that means. but they also sanitised, bland and souless cultures.%0D %0D The US and Australia have similar origins, but only one, mostly because of the African mix, came up with Jazz, the Blues, Rock n' Roll, Soul, R&B, Hip hop etc while the other hasn't contributed a single original art form to the world.
|by Anonymous||reply 33||01/24/2011|
Unless you've lived in all 9 countries R33, how would you know that they're "bland and souless cultures"? Judgemental jerk.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||01/24/2011|
R33= Oprah just back from Australia
|by Anonymous||reply 35||01/24/2011|
R33= another angry American queen
|by Anonymous||reply 36||01/24/2011|
Very interesting about Norway since Norway in the next election is about to make a very wide right turn. The Progress Party & the Conservative Party have more people in them currently and the Conservative Party in the latest polls has more than in the Labour Party ....
|by Anonymous||reply 37||01/24/2011|
The Bilderbergers goal is to reduce the world's population from 3 billion to 500,000,000. Since I read Forbes list of best places to live are always predominantly white is it possible that the Bilderbergers allow minorities to kill each other as part of the long term goal?
|by Anonymous||reply 38||01/24/2011|
Given the world's population is over 6 billion, I think the Bilderbergers need to do some research first.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||01/24/2011|
r34. Its all about bias, I guess. If you want to believe people in the frigid North are happier than those frolicking in the copacabana in Brazil, then so be it.%0D %0D And r35/36. How did it feel to have a grand total of two black people (Oprah and Gayle) in your country?
|by Anonymous||reply 40||01/24/2011|
[quote]And [R35]/36. How did it feel to have a grand total of two black people (Oprah and Gayle) in your country?%0D %0D Black people have been living in Australia continuously for over 40,000 years, R40. Do you even know where Australia is.%0D %0D [quote]If you want to believe people in the frigid North are happier than those frolicking in the copacabana in Brazil, then so be it.%0D %0D Tell me where I said that, R40.
|by Anonymous||reply 41||01/24/2011|
You know I meant 'African' black r41. And while we're here, other than Kylie Minogue, is there a musical form or genre that can be considered peculiarly Australian? No? Why?
|by Anonymous||reply 42||01/24/2011|
Does it really matter unless you, yourself is happy?
|by Anonymous||reply 43||01/24/2011|
Umm, Australia has a rapidly increasing population of African Australians, mostly refugees from places like southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Zimbabwe. Learn your facts before you make us laugh even more with your tragic ignorance.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||01/24/2011|
"Does it really matter unless you, yourself is happy?"
|by Anonymous||reply 45||01/24/2011|
[quote]You know I meant 'African' black [R41]. %0D %0D No, I didn't. And there are plenty of those in Australia, too.
|by Anonymous||reply 46||01/24/2011|
It is true that Scandinavian nations with a few exceptions -- semi-Nazi Knut Hamsun and lesbian Tove Jansson, author of the Moomintroll books -- have had not much cultural impact.
America for all its problems has had a major cultural impact throughout the world. Perhaps it is the price to pay.
|by Anonymous||reply 47||01/24/2011|
I know some Norwegian families. They go to Italy and Spain every year. They need to run away from Norway and they have the money.
|by Anonymous||reply 48||01/24/2011|
What do black people have to do with any of this??!
|by Anonymous||reply 49||01/24/2011|
Sweden has had a significant impact in film - Ingrid and Ingmar, to name but a couple notables. It is also the only non-english speaking country to produce major and multiple international pop music acts, r47.
And r48, they go south for better weather, as do northern people from all over.
|by Anonymous||reply 50||01/24/2011|
Eat your wild-caught salmon and you too will Omega-3 happy like the Norwegians.
|by Anonymous||reply 51||01/24/2011|
So nice, R9?
Scandinavian nations did not have that dramatically different suicide rates than most Western nations. We call that myth.
The reason people are happier in Scandinavia includes a range of factors -- from the social safety net, an overwhelming majority taking pride in tolerance, healthy attitudes about sex, traditions based on simple living, and fabulous summers.
The wealth in Norway isn't hurting, either.
|by Anonymous||reply 52||01/24/2011|
[quote]It is also the only non-english speaking country to produce major and multiple international pop music acts, [R47].%0D %0D THEY SING IN FUCKING ENGLISH. What is Scandinavian about that?
|by Anonymous||reply 53||01/24/2011|
Funny, I've always bought the Strindbergian stereotype of the brooding morose Scandinavians. Guess I was wrong.
|by Anonymous||reply 54||01/24/2011|
They sing in English for the English speaking world, but also sding in Swedish and other European languages, R53. ABBA released songs in English, Swedish, Norwegian, French, German, Spanish and Italian.%0D %0D I'd like to see Britney Spears do that.
|by Anonymous||reply 55||01/24/2011|
Looks like Socialism makes people happy.
|by Anonymous||reply 56||01/24/2011|
For the billionth time, you can't trust people who say they are happy. In the USA conservatives are more likely than liberals to say they are happy. Is it true? Oh hell no, but it's part of the "beleaguered Christian" propaganda offensive. Lutherans probably have something similar, which accounts for Scandinavian answers. It is perfectly compatible with high suicide rates and ethnic tensions.%0D %0D %0D What is more important is social development indeces and those also show Scandinavians enjoy the highest standard of living in the world (the Swiss used to be in their pitching, but not so much anymore).%0D
|by Anonymous||reply 57||01/24/2011|
[quote]Umm, Australia has a rapidly increasing population of African Australians, mostly refugees from places like southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Zimbabwe. Learn your facts before you make us laugh even more with your tragic ignorance.%0D %0D The population of people of Africans or people of African descent is is nowhere close to even cracking the 1% mark. Hardly constitutes a "rapidly increasing population".%0D %0D And r46, Australian Aborigines are Australoid, not Negroid. Big difference.%0D %0D
|by Anonymous||reply 58||01/24/2011|
Maoris are a bigger percent of New Zealand's population than blacks are in America. And Maoris were never enslaved and they have retained some of their lands. They are an unconquered people, yet they have many of the same resentments as African Americans.%0D
|by Anonymous||reply 59||01/24/2011|
They resent the Pakeha.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||01/24/2011|
[quote]And [R46], Australian Aborigines are Australoid, not Negroid. Big difference. %0D %0D DOes that make them less 'black'? What's your point? The only reason the US has such a signifciant black population is that you imported their ancestors as slaves. Hardly something to be proud about.
|by Anonymous||reply 61||01/24/2011|
[quote]and they have retained some of their lands. %0D %0D Well there you have it. If they can't be happy with only having most of their land stolen, they're just not trying.
|by Anonymous||reply 62||01/24/2011|
[quote]DOes that make them less 'black'?%0D %0D Makes them different. Your arguement would applies better to 'whites'. Caucasians encompass populations covering Europe, North Africa, the middle East, Central Asia and South Asia including India. They are all white even for US census purposes, yet some whites feel whiter than others.%0D %0D Anyway, its all irrelevant to the topic at hand. I refuse to believe Scandinavians, with their high suicide rates, gloomy weather and frosty personalities are happier than much poorer Jamaicans and other Caribbean islanders.
|by Anonymous||reply 63||01/24/2011|
Just because people SAY they're happy doesn't mean its true. I know Europeans hate the smiley Americans with their "have a nice day" attitude, but its much better than their coldness.
|by Anonymous||reply 64||01/24/2011|
Jamaicans are crazy homophobes. No one with that much hate can be that happy.
|by Anonymous||reply 65||01/24/2011|
I would love to know which countries made the bottom ten.
|by Anonymous||reply 66||01/24/2011|
[quote]Jamaicans are crazy homophobes. No one with that much hate can be that happy.%0D %0D Then the same goes for Australians, one of the world's most racist societies. There have been riots against fellow whites from Lebanon and India.%0D %0D And for the last time r59, Australian aborigines and Maoris are not black in the sense of the most common usage of the word. Why compare?%0D %0D
|by Anonymous||reply 67||01/24/2011|
You seem like a good hater, R67. Which is ironic, given the title of this thread.
|by Anonymous||reply 68||01/24/2011|
Why have so many Muslims been allowed into Norway, R27? Why don't they stop Muslim immigration?
|by Anonymous||reply 69||01/24/2011|
Denmark has the highest cancer rate in the world. Ireland second. New Zealand is third.
|by Anonymous||reply 70||01/24/2011|
These polls get posted here every year and the general consensus is that cultural cohesion, lack of plurality and cradle to grave resources are the greatest contributing factors.
|by Anonymous||reply 71||01/24/2011|
[italic]I refuse to believe Scandinavians, with their high suicide rates[/italic]
That's a myth. Get your facts straight first, hon.
|by Anonymous||reply 72||01/25/2011|
[italic]Jamaicans are crazy homophobes. No one with that much hate can be that happy.
Then the same goes for Australians, one of the world's most racist societies. There have been riots against fellow whites from Lebanon and India.[/italic]
Uh, no. Jamaicans kill gays in the worst imaginable ways. It's acceptable too. Jamaica is right up there with the Middle East in its handling of gays, not to mention they're acceptance. Barbarians. The world would be better off without that savages!
|by Anonymous||reply 73||01/25/2011|
So, r73. You're saying homophobia is worse than racism? Killing gays is worse than killing Indians?
|by Anonymous||reply 74||01/25/2011|
The 9 happiest countries have a couple of elements in common.
|by Anonymous||reply 75||01/25/2011|
Who is killing Indians now r74?
|by Anonymous||reply 76||01/25/2011|
[quote]I would love to know which countries made the bottom ten.%0D %0D Hello.
|by Anonymous||reply 77||01/25/2011|
"I thought Finns were alocholics who go on shooting rampages."%0D %0D Love that old wives tale. We Scandinavians tend to have a great sense of humor because we forgot our guns. Norwegians are happy because they are rich...at last! %0D %0D
|by Anonymous||reply 78||01/25/2011|
Uh, R1 / R3, you do realize the Hamlet to which you refer is (a) English, and (b) it's not at all clear that because Olivier and others have played him that way, that even that text requires that reading of any Scandinavian psyche?
In the Scandinavian folk tale, which Shakespeare stole, it's clear that Amleth is faking his madness.
|by Anonymous||reply 79||01/25/2011|
[R 17} Canada has almost no Hispanics compared to America. Go to a big American city like Chicago New York or Boston and you can hear Spanish all the time ,not so in Vancouver,Toronto or Montreal at all! Miami is basically like Montreal in that it is a Spanish speaking city first...well almost.Hispanics are a whopping 0.97 percent of the Canadian population, a very small percentage whereas in the US it is 15.8 %, quite a difference.
The Blacks are also different in Canada. They were treated like people not like animals like they were in the States, so there is less racial tension there. They are only 2.5 % of the population in Canada,in America it is 12% . Once again no comparison at all.
|by Anonymous||reply 80||01/25/2011|
They still do, R9. But that%E2%80%99s why they rank so high on the happiness list; all the depressed people have killed themselves.
I say that%E2%80%99s cheating, though.
|by Anonymous||reply 81||01/25/2011|
Speaking of Nordic countries, do Danes actually eat those things they sell as Danish Butter Cookies in US dollar stores?
|by Anonymous||reply 82||01/30/2011|
I think Canada's largest immigrant groups tend to be East and South Asian, the Greater Toronto Area and the Lower Mainland both have huge Chinese and Indian populations.
Canada's real underclass has always been the Aboriginal (who I don't believe are considered "visible minorities" when it comes to statistics), and whose communities have incredibly high rates of alcoholism, drug use, disease, suicide, poverty and violent crime.
|by Anonymous||reply 83||01/30/2011|
Don't even mention it, R37. I support Labour. I cannot stand the right winged parties, and ESPECIALLY not The Progress party, racist, homophobic bullshit party.. I cannot believe it gets so many votes. The Norwegians are obviously becoming more and more greedy, fed up with paying so much taxes, which is hilarious because it's because of the taxes we constantly top living indexes. The Coneservative Party is LGBT friendly, at least they have that going for them. I only hope that they become the biggest party in the next election, and not the homophobic Progress Party, so the Conservatives have the majority and with it power, in a potential government when it comes to LGBT rights. The Progress Party wants to remove the new marriage law btw. Thank god they will never get the majority to do that, since only they and the Christian Democrats are against it. The rest of the parties in the Parliament supports the law.
|by Anonymous||reply 84||01/30/2011|
This survey is based mostly on economic measurements, implying money brings happiness. I have travelled quite a bit and from what I've seen, truly happy people are from the poor third-world countries with strong family ties and a laidback lifestyle.
|by Anonymous||reply 85||01/30/2011|
R40, I truly believe people in the Nordic countries are happier than people in Brazil, and the climate has got nothing to do with it. It has to do with the state providing basic services so that EVERYONE can live a worthy life. We also have free education (including higher education), free kindergartens, 12 months paid maternity leave, 3 months paid paternity leave, free helth care etc. All of this makes people happy because they don't have to worry about these things and can instead go on with their life living, which is how it's supposed to be. I really doubt the Brazilians or Spaniards have the same rights and benefits as we do here in Norway. Like I said, the climate means shit.
R47, people don't go to Spain to flee from norway. They leave because of the shitty cold and depressing winter to get some sun. This is common for ALL Scandinavians, not just Norwegians. And since we have such high salaries in Norway (even the Swedes flee here in search for jobs), most families can afford going a couple of times a year, yes, even middle income families.
|by Anonymous||reply 86||01/30/2011|
You are right, R56. Socialism in an indirect way actually DO make people happier, since everyone has a security net and doesn't have to worry, giving everyone a worthy life.
Funny how most Amercians think socialism equals communism. It doesn't. At all. Half of the countries that have gay marriage today wouldn't have it if it wasn't for the socialist governments. They are in the forefront when it comes to LGBT rights. the socialist parties have actually worked for minority rights for centuries. It's because of Labour here in Norway that women were allowed to vote etc.
|by Anonymous||reply 87||01/30/2011|
R63, read what R52 said. He has a point.. And again, the climate has got NOTHING to do with it.
R69, good question. It's probably why the Progress Party gets so many votes these days. The Norwegian people is sick and tired of letting so many immigrants/muslims into the country.
R76, you are right. Norway is among the countries in the world with the lowest murder rate per capita.
|by Anonymous||reply 88||01/30/2011|
[quote]I truly believe people in the Nordic countries are happier than people in Brazil, and the climate has got nothing to do with it. It has to do with the state providing basic services so that EVERYONE can live a worthy life. We also have free education (including higher education), free kindergartens, 12 months paid maternity leave, 3 months paid paternity leave, free helth care etc. All of this makes people happy because they don't have to worry about these things and can instead go on with their life living, which is how it's supposed to be.%0D %0D r86 doesn't get it. Listing all things he believes should make him happier than that poor fisherman in Barbados who's life is essentially a laid-back, stress free routine and then concluding for the fisherman that he must be unhappy because he doesn't have broadband internet or insurance for his boat and surfboard.%0D %0D It is so presumptious of Europeans to assume other peoples want their lives. I've NEVER had a stranger smile at or chat me up in Northern Europe. How many Scandinavians have you ever seen spontaneously break into song or dance (whether sober or not) as is very common in places like Brazil, The Caribbean or even Africa? Visit these places, I promise you will be weirded out by how cheerful the old lady who lives in a mud hut is. The happiness can be felt.
|by Anonymous||reply 89||01/30/2011|
Do people in Norway still write checks?
|by Anonymous||reply 90||01/30/2011|
r88.%0D %0D If I could live in Antigua, I would. The friendly easy-going nature of the people just mellows me down. But you can never pay me enough to live long-term in Copenhagen or Oslo, especially in the winter. I'd much rather break out a surfboard than a skis.
|by Anonymous||reply 91||01/30/2011|
Another thing Norwegian. The way you seem so determined to convince us you're happy just reinforces my belief that you're really not and explains the reason why the results are skewed in favor of the very countries where people feel they should be happy.%0D %0D Dismiss the weather all you want but I think it contributes to the high suicide rates and the relatively higher concentrations of serial killers.
|by Anonymous||reply 92||01/30/2011|
As for:%0D %0D [quote]We Scandinavians tend to have a great sense of humor ...%0D %0D Lol. Stop, just stop. You're killing me.
|by Anonymous||reply 93||01/30/2011|
R89, the reason we don't break out in sang or dance is because we don't have that culture. Brazil does, which is fine and all. But you cannot punish us for that. Plus, it would be pretty darn cold to dance in the streats come winter time. Winter may be cold and depressing here, but it's all worth it for the AMAZING summer. Seriously, the summer in Scandinavia is the best. Everyone is out, having a good time, just enjoying life, staying out from early morning till late evening, since the sun pretty much stays up for 18+ hours. It's frikkin amazing. The spirit of the people and the atmosphere, there's nothing like it. You should come here in summer. I bet you would like it. We even go swimming in the ocean, it's not that cold in summer :)
|by Anonymous||reply 94||01/30/2011|
What's the world coming to when we have Norwegians claiming to be happier than Brazilians?
|by Anonymous||reply 95||01/30/2011|
Nazi eugenics is still alive and well.
|by Anonymous||reply 96||01/30/2011|
R92. You get used to the weather. Funny how Americans would rather live in a shithole that's warm than a decent place with high living standards JUST because we get snow in the winter. Yeah, that makes sense.. or maybe not.
The political system and the security net, and not a huge gap between rich and poor, but a big middle class is why the Nordic countries top this list. You may bitch about the weather how much you like, but then how do you explain that so many winterly countries top this list, huh? It's obviously not the big deal you make it out to be.
|by Anonymous||reply 97||01/30/2011|
It's true by the way. The frigid north, including Scadinavia and Russia has a disproportionately high number of suicides and serial killers.
|by Anonymous||reply 98||01/30/2011|
Actually we are, R95, according to this report. But whatever, you think people dancing automatically makes people happy and cold weather automatically makes people sad and depressed. Turns out you don't know shit. Just go back to being the ignorant american we all know and love.
|by Anonymous||reply 99||01/30/2011|
You have no idea what you are talking about, R98. Norway and Sweden have the lowest murder rates per capita in the world. But keep telling yourself these lies, R98. Just another ignorant american, but what else is new in the world.
|by Anonymous||reply 100||01/30/2011|
Since we're stereotyping r99, its nice to see that famous Scandinavian cheer starting to show itself.
|by Anonymous||reply 101||01/30/2011|
Another thing, I think Americans are generally happier than Europeans.
|by Anonymous||reply 102||01/31/2011|
The article is reasonably interesting, and notes that it's really a "Prosperity Index" rather than a measure of happiness:%0D %0D %0D ...five years ago researchers at the Legatum Institute, a London-based nonpartisan think tank, set out to rank the happiest countries in the world. But because "happy" carries too much of a touchy-feely connotation, they call it "prosperity."%0D %0D Legatum recently completed its 2010 Prosperity Index, which ranks 110 countries, covering 90 per cent of the world's population.%0D %0D To build its index Legatum gathers data from 12 sources including the Gallup polling group, the Heritage Foundation and the World Economic Forum. Each country is ranked on 89 variables sorted into eight subsections: economy, entrepreneurship, governance, education, health, safety, personal freedom and social capital.%0D %0D &&&%0D %0D What's the most prosperous country in the world? Norway. What's it got that the rest of the world doesn't? The biggest bump comes from having the world's highest per capita GDP of $53,000 a year. Norwegians have the second-highest level of satisfaction with their standards of living: 95 per cent say they are satisfied with the freedom to choose the direction of their lives; an unparalleled 74 per cent say other people can be trusted.%0D %0D Cynics (particularly those leaving comments on Legatum's excellent website) say Norway's ranking is a fluke, that it's a boring, godless (just 13 per cent go to church) homogeneous place to live with a massive welfare state bankrolled by high taxes. Without massive offshore reserves of oil and gas that it exports to the world through state-controlled Statoil, Norway's GDP would be far smaller.%0D %0D And yet joining Norway in the top 10 prosperous countries are its Scandinavian sisters Denmark, Finland and Sweden, with equally small and civilized Switzerland and the Netherlands also in the club. None of these countries are blessed with great hoards of oil and gas.%0D %0D So what gives? What do these prosperous European nations have in common that can somehow explain their prosperity? Being an electoral democracy is almost a given -- of the top 25 most prosperous countries, only Singapore and Hong Kong aren't.%0D %0D Being small helps too. Big countries have so many disparate groups (ethnic, geographic, civic) vying against each other that it's hard for true social cohesion and trust to emerge, and harder to maintain high levels of safety. Among countries with populations of more than 150 million, the United States ranks highest, at No. 10.%0D %0D What else? They are all borderline socialist states, with generous welfare benefits and lots of redistribution of wealth. Yet they don't let that socialism cross the line into autocracy. Civil liberties are abundant (consider decriminalized drugs and prostitution in the Netherlands). There are few restrictions on the flow of capital or of labour. Legatum's scholars point out that Denmark, for example, has little job protection, but generous unemployment benefits. So business owners can keep the right number of workers, while workers can have a safety net while they muck around looking for that fulfilling job.%0D %0D
|by Anonymous||reply 103||01/31/2011|
[quote]The article is reasonably interesting, and notes that it's really a "Prosperity Index" rather than a measure of happiness:
Some posters here need to understand there's a difference.
[quote]Cynics (particularly those leaving comments on Legatum's excellent website) say Norway's ranking is a fluke, that it's a boring, godless (just 13 per cent go to church) homogeneous place to live with a massive welfare state bankrolled by high taxes.
I agree these countries are bland, boring and souless.
|by Anonymous||reply 104||02/01/2011|
[quote]I agree these countries are bland, boring and souless.%0D %0D All ten, R104?%0D %0D On Norway, I understand why it figures prominently, though for me it suffers because its history is relatively intangible. Aside from the stavkirke and some nice enough small clutches of historic architecture, the buildings are so modest or modern on whole that it doesn't add up well. Natural landscape alone doesn't do it for me, and the other attributes Norway has, other places enjoy as well -- and with better architecture.%0D
|by Anonymous||reply 105||02/01/2011|
[quote] 10. United States
|by Anonymous||reply 106||02/01/2011|
Well R106, the list is about prosperity, not happiness. You have to admit though that the US is prosperous.
|by Anonymous||reply 107||02/01/2011|
Well, ignorance is bliss R102.
|by Anonymous||reply 108||02/01/2011|
Idiots still think money brings happiness.
|by Anonymous||reply 109||02/01/2011|
That Swedish author Henning Mankell splits his time between Sweden and Mozambique and he says that in Sweden you never see people dancing in the street, smiling, singing or acting in anyway exuberant about life. This is a Swede saying this, not me. I have never been there. I did live in Holland for awhile. In the Northern European countries the people are extremely reserved and even people from those countries complain it is hard to meet people/socialize. I would rather live in a place where people enjoy their life and have good food such as France, Italy, Caribbean etc. But I do admire the social net and systems of the Scandanavian countries not to mention their (non Ikea) design aesthetic. Blond maple wood and streamlined sofas anyone, anyone?
|by Anonymous||reply 110||02/01/2011|
You're being too generous about Scandinavian "design aesthetic". I agree with the poster above who described Norther Europe as souless. Its not a put-down. It is what it is.
|by Anonymous||reply 111||02/02/2011|
Let's knit sweaters and eat lutefisk!
|by Anonymous||reply 112||02/02/2011|
|by Anonymous||reply 113||02/02/2011|
Most of those countries have large populations of men with uncut cocks.
|by Anonymous||reply 114||02/02/2011|
Happy people are uninteresting and superficial.
|by Anonymous||reply 115||02/02/2011|
In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.
|by Anonymous||reply 116||02/02/2011|
Things that make you say 'hm'.%0D %0D The ten least religious countries:%0D %0D %0D 1. Estonia %0D %0D %0D 2. Spain %0D %0D %0D 3. Sweden %0D %0D %0D 4. Denmark %0D %0D %0D 5. Norway %0D %0D %0D 6. Azerbaijan %0D %0D %0D 7. Hong Kong %0D %0D %0D 8. Japan %0D %0D %0D 9. France %0D %0D %0D 10. Mongolia %0D %0D %0D
|by Anonymous||reply 117||02/02/2011|
The United States is the most religious country in the Western world - and that is one of its problems.
|by Anonymous||reply 118||02/02/2011|
You honestly believe Spain is the second least religious country in the world? And even the countries listed, not religious does not automatically mean atheist. Is there a country in the world with a majority of self-described atheists? I doubt it.
|by Anonymous||reply 119||02/02/2011|
r118. The reliogisity of the United States has also given birth to a colorful culture that is envied and imitated worldwide. I can't imagine the US without Jazz, Soul, the Blues, Rock n' roll, Hip hop ... all these are just some original American art forms.%0D %0D Other than IKEA, what has Scandinavia contributed to the world?
|by Anonymous||reply 120||02/03/2011|
r120, you do realize that all those contributions were by black people. Without them, the entire U.S.A. would be Des Moines.
|by Anonymous||reply 121||02/03/2011|
R63 is ill-informed. Where do you think those "Australoid" people came from?
|by Anonymous||reply 122||02/03/2011|
[quote]he [Mankell]says that in Sweden you never see people dancing in the street, smiling, singing or acting in anyway exuberant about life.
Swedes party like nobody's business. They have more drinking songs than China has rice. They just tend to party within smaller clans at home.
OTOH they do tend to be repressed about emotions (e,g, Bergman), but not necessarily around social mores like sex, children out of wedlock, etc.
|by Anonymous||reply 123||02/03/2011|
[quote][R63] is ill-informed. Where do you think those "Australoid" people came from?%0D %0D Umm, Australia?%0D %0D
|by Anonymous||reply 124||02/03/2011|
[quote][R120], you do realize that all those contributions were by black people. Without them, the entire U.S.A. would be Des Moines%0D %0D Des Moines has more soul and character than Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen, together.
|by Anonymous||reply 125||02/03/2011|
We were discussing Aborigines, R124.
|by Anonymous||reply 126||02/03/2011|
Please, R125. Have you ever been to any of those cities?
|by Anonymous||reply 127||02/03/2011|
Do tell, r126. Where are Australian Aborigines from?
|by Anonymous||reply 128||02/03/2011|
r125 = DL Idiot of the year.
|by Anonymous||reply 129||02/03/2011|
Google it, R128. Google the origin of the Australian aborigine.
|by Anonymous||reply 130||02/03/2011|
R120, how do you like your cell phone?
|by Anonymous||reply 131||02/03/2011|
r130. Aboriginal people have been in Australia for as long as 40,000 - 125,000 years.
|by Anonymous||reply 132||02/03/2011|
Jesus Christ, some of you are so fucking ignorant. I bet all this bitchiness is coming from Americans. #10, my ass. You have no idea about anyone or anything outside of your own little country.
|by Anonymous||reply 133||02/03/2011|
I bet r133, despite never having been out of the country, thinks Europe is heaven.%0D %0D Fact: More Europeans move to America than the other way around.
|by Anonymous||reply 134||02/05/2011|
For all those dumb clucks who keep insisting suicide rates are higher in Scandinavia ("It's true! It's true!") without any backup whatsoever this shows their rates aren't much different than the US.
PositiontCountrytMaletFemaletTotaltYear 1t Lithuaniat58.5t8.8t31.5t2009 2t South Korea (more information)tN/AtN/At31.0t2009 3t Kazakhstant46.2t9.0t26.9t2007 4t BelarustN/AtN/At25.3t2010 5t Japan (more information)t35.8t13.7t24.4t2007 6t RussiatN/AtN/At23.5t2010 7t Guyanat33.8t11.6t22.9t2005 8t Ukrainet40.9t7.0t22.6t2005 9t Hungaryt37.1t8.8t21.8t2009 10t Sri LankatN/AtN/At21.6t1996 11t Latviat37.6t6.7t20.7t2009 12t Sloveniat32.1t7.9t19.8t2008 13t Serbia and Montenegrot28.4t11.1t19.5t2006 14t Finlandt27.3t9.5t18.3t2009 15t Belgium[note 1]t26.5t9.3t17.6t2005 16t Francet25.5t9.0t17.0t2006 17t Estoniat29.1t6.2t16.5t2008 18t Uruguayt26.0t6.3t15.8t2004 19t Moldovat28.0t4.3t15.7t2007 20t South Africat25.3t5.6t15.4t2005 21t Hong Kongt19.3t11.5t15.2t2006 22t Polandt26.8t4.4t15.2t2006 23t Switzerlandt21.8t9.1t15.1t2007 24t Croatiat26.1t5.5t15.0t2009 25t Surinamet23.9t4.8t14.4t2005 26t Swedent18.1t8.3t13.2t2006 27t SeychellestN/AtN/At13.2t1998 28t New Zealandt20.3t6.5t13.2t2008 29t Austriat20.9t5.7t12.8t2009 30t Czech Republict21.8t3.7t12.4t2009 31t Cubat19.6t4.9t12.3t2006 32t Trinidad and Tobagot20.4t4.0t12.0t2002 33t Bosnia and Herzegovinat20.3t3.3t11.8t1991 34t Canadat17.9t5.4t11.6t2005 35t Irelandt18.6t4.7t11.6t2009 36t Norwayt16.8t6.0t11.4t2006 37t Romaniat18.9t4.0t11.3t2007 38t Icelandt17.9t4.5t11.3t2009 39t United States (more information)t17.7t4.5t11.1t2005 40t Denmarkt16.0t5.7t10.6t2006 41t India (more information)t12.2t9.1t10.6t1998 42t Australiat16.7t4.4t10.5t2004 43t Mauritiust16.0t4.8t10.4t2007 44t Singaporet12.9t7.7t10.3t2006 45t Slovakiat19.8t1.9t10.3t2009 46t Chilet17.4t3.4t10.3t2005 47t Bulgariat16.3t4.6t10.1t2008 48t Germanyt15.1t4.4t9.5t2009 49t United Kingdom[note 2]t17.7t5.4t9.2t2008 50t Kyrgyzstant14.4t3.7t9.0t2006
|by Anonymous||reply 135||02/05/2011|
10th is like a fat ass got lost in a wrong place.
|by Anonymous||reply 136||02/05/2011|
Your list doesn't help Scandinavia's and other prosperous countries case r135. Proves weather is a bigger factor than wealth:%0D %0D 2. South Korea%0D %0D 5. Japan%0D %0D 6. Russia%0D %0D 14. Finland%0D %0D 15. Belgium%0D %0D 16. France%0D %0D 21. Hong Kong%0D %0D 23. Switzerland%0D %0D 26. Sweden%0D %0D 28. New Zealand%0D %0D 34. Canada%0D %0D 36. Norway%0D %0D 39. Unites States%0D %0D 42. Australia%0D %0D 49. United Kingdom%0D %0D 57. Zimbabwe (Higest African Country)%0D %0D 68. Spain %0D %0D 72. Italy%0D %0D 75. Brazil%0D %0D 96. Barbados%0D %0D 100. Jamaica%0D %0D Once again, Brazilians, Jamaicans and Africans are happier than Scandinavians.
|by Anonymous||reply 137||02/05/2011|
I was refuting the canard that so many right-wingers cling to that socialist scandinavian countries have higher suicide rates than the US.(Sorry about the formatting, btw.)
Anyway, Sri Lanka, Guyana and Japan all place much higher than the scandinavian countries as well even though they have much warmer climates.
I would agree that suicide isn't really a black thing. If you took the suicide rate of whites in the US seperately my guess is it would be in the top 10.
|by Anonymous||reply 138||02/05/2011|
Fattest ranking #1 America
|by Anonymous||reply 139||02/06/2011|
Cliche, but money doesn't bring happiness. This is a prosperity list not a happiness list.
|by Anonymous||reply 140||02/06/2011|
|by Anonymous||reply 141||07/23/2011|
I hope the delusional Norwegian who posted here is safe.
|by Anonymous||reply 142||07/23/2011|
I drink gallons of Omega-3 rich fish oil while servicing hoards of pasty uncut cocks. I'm so happy I'm whistling out of my dilated asshole!
|by Anonymous||reply 143||07/23/2011|
This incident is so stereotypical of weirdos in colder climes it could have been lifted from a Dostoyevsky novel.
|by Anonymous||reply 144||07/23/2011|
|by Anonymous||reply 145||07/24/2011|
Not today, OP!
|by Anonymous||reply 146||07/24/2011|
That ranking may drop a bit.
|by Anonymous||reply 147||07/24/2011|
Overall, I'm sure they still are.
|by Anonymous||reply 148||07/24/2011|
Yes, R142, this delusional Norwegian is safe, you asshole.
|by Anonymous||reply 149||07/25/2011|
Why such anger at genuine concern for your well-being r149?
|by Anonymous||reply 150||07/25/2011|
Lol "all those Norwegian catholics" wtf : D haha here in Norway most people I know of are either protestantists or muslim immigrants, not many catholics. : 3
|by Anonymous||reply 151||07/31/2011|
This is why we can't have nice things!
|by Anonymous||reply 152||07/31/2011|
[quote]Swedes party like nobody's business. They have more drinking songs than China has rice. They just tend to party within smaller clans at home.
Of course they have more drinking songs. There's nothing to do in all of Scandinavia BUT drink.
|by Anonymous||reply 153||07/31/2011|
Ninety percent of you sneering queens haven't been out of the basement in months, never mind to any of these countries you're pontificating on.
|by Anonymous||reply 154||07/31/2011|
Um. If the African are happier than Scandinavians, then why the fuck are they trying to immigrate here? Guess they got tired of war, famine, drought, diseases and so on. You know, these things that usually make you happy.
|by Anonymous||reply 155||07/31/2011|
[quote]Ninety percent of you sneering queens haven't been out of the basement in months, never mind to any of these countries you're pontificating on.
Oh, young child at R154, if you only knew how wrong you are.
|by Anonymous||reply 156||07/31/2011|
I'm in my 50s, hardy a young child by any stretch. Your pre-judging, know-nothing attitude proves my point very well.
|by Anonymous||reply 157||07/31/2011|
[quote]Um. If the African are happier than Scandinavians, then why the fuck are they trying to immigrate here? Guess they got tired of war, famine, drought, diseases and so on. You know, these things that usually make you happy.%0D %0D Still stubornly missing the point r155. How Scandinavian. FYI, Africa is a huge continent and most of it isn't Somalia. And trust, they're far happier than you. %0D %0D Plan a safari one of these days, you won't want to return to that icebox of a country.%0D %0D
|by Anonymous||reply 158||08/02/2011|
R158, you are so ignorant it's sickening. Have you ever been to Scandinavia? And no.. it's not an icebox... we have 4 seasons, including summers. And our summers are actually quite warm and nice. I'd actually pick a Scandinavian summer over a summer in the mainland US. Our days are very long, so we can enjoy more of the day outside, and the feeling of a Scandinavian summer is something totally special. Everyone is out, enjoying themselves, having fun, go swimming in the ocean, bbq etc. The summer here is very special, very fun. You have no idea what you're talking about. Our summers may not be as long as yours in USA, or as hot as yours, but I'd still take my summer over the US summer any time. We have a short summer, but the days are longer, so the summer feels longer than it is. Oh yeah, and the north have days lasting 24 hours. The sun never sets in summer. The northern regions are amazing in summer time.%0D %0D %0D Please leave your country for once, R150, travel and educate yourself. You sound like an idiot talking about something you are so clueless about. And btw.. I think free health care, free kindergarten, free education (including university), long maternity & paternity leave (also paid), 4 weeks paid vacation from work every year including 12 % extra of your pay check as "summer money," everyone having a minimum, even the uneployed & sick, an economy going strong and 2 % unemployment rate are the reasons why people are happy. But just go ahead thinking USA is the best country in the world, you don't even have health care, people can't afford to get sick, and how big is the poor population in USA, how many live paycheck to paycheck, how many are unempolyed? R158, either educate yourself or stop talking, you sound like an idiot.
|by Anonymous||reply 159||08/02/2011|
R147, you're an asshole. What happened to Norway was because of one crazy maniac. The same thing happened to USA.. Oklahoma, remember? Yes, we are mourning right now, naturally. But we will only get stronger from this. Norway will still be Norway.. like it always has been. I am proud of the values Norwegians share, especially in the aftermath of what happened. 200 000 people walked together in Oslo to show support for the victims who died, the people who ended up hurt in the hospital and for their families. %0D %0D %0D We will once again be a country to be proud of. Unfortunately, crazy people are everywhere. It's impossible to protect a country completely from the crazies, especially when they act alone.. We will mourn the loss of those who died, but we will get back to normal, we will not let this stop us from protecting our rights and values that we are so proud of.%0D %0D %0D I am a proud supporter of Labour. I have voted 3 times, all for Labour. I was once a member of the youth organization too. What happened was horrible, and I have cried like 5 times a day every day since it happened. I still start to cry when I think about what those people went through, or when I watch old speeches from people who died on the island. We lost so many talented politicians, and yes, many of them were gay. I will however continue with my life, as will all Norwegians. We will not let this destroy our democracy, our love for each other. Norway will stand strong, even after this. And I will continue to vote Labour for the rest of my life. I love Labour. What happened will not change that, I only have more respect for our PM now, after how he handled this tragedy.
|by Anonymous||reply 160||08/02/2011|
Get over yourself R159.
I live in Scandinavia too, and your summers are nothing special. There's a reason all those charter flights to Cyprus and Mallorca are full.
The oceans are freezing, it never really gets warm, yet you all run around like you're in Ibiza, you overtan to the point of premature aging (look out for that skin cancer rate!). Your beaches are rocks, flies, and shore facilities consisting of crap plywood and metal cabins.
Oh, and you're not the only place in the world who has BBQ; in fact yours are flavorless crap compared with South Africans, Australians, US Southerners or South Americans. I have to make my own fucking sausages because yours are dogshit in casing. Potato salad should have more potato than creme fraiche in it. And stop overcooking your seafood and confusing dill with flavour.
Plus, you're all binge drinkers who can't hold their liquor on a Friday night.
If your free health care is so good, why did my company insist on buying me a private policy "so you can have a decent doctor"? None of you do any work, so all the expats are left holding the fort all summer while you let everything go to shit, including your helicopter crew who were drinking snaps in the archipelago when those kids were dying.
And you're unfriendly. Try smiling.
Quality of life is not happiness. And you are decidely not a happy people. So cut the bullshit and go out and compare yourselves with people who are truly happy without getting it all done for them. This survey has a decidely different POV:
|by Anonymous||reply 161||08/02/2011|
I bet Norway is not that happy now! ha ha keep kissing the rag head's ass
|by Anonymous||reply 162||08/02/2011|
[quote]Another thing, I think Americans are generally happier than Europeans.
There are so many differences in how people live in Europe vs USA, where do you even begin to compare the 'level of happiness.' By the way, I am an European living in the US. I have a bit of a perspective of both. It would never occur to make such a blank statement. You sound like an idiot, though.
|by Anonymous||reply 163||08/02/2011|
R161, get over yourself. If you hate Scandinavia that much then GET THE FUCK OUT. Nobody is forcing you to stay. You have clearly made up your mind, I won't change it no matter what I say, or no matter what a bunch of reports say. Maybe your misery comes from you being a jerk, or never being satisfied? Maybe if you actually TRIED to be happy, maybe then you wouldn't be so fucking miserable?%0D %0D %0D BTW, R162, you are a piece of shit, you are fucking scum. How dare you use the tragedy to further your own fucked up misery and hate?%0D %0D %0D R162, I'm not even going to dignify that by a reply you asshole. %0D %0D %0D The webmaster should just delete this thread because this is getting way out of hand, or at least ban R161 and R162. F&F for both of you. I hope you are both happy being miserable, fucking disgusting assholes. %0D %0D
|by Anonymous||reply 164||08/02/2011|
It's way out of hand, dim Norwegian, because you're no better than naive American exceptionalists. Someone had to tell both sides of the Scandinavian story.
To be banned, one needs to have said something racist, illegal, or otherwise grossly offensive. What did I say that was that transgressive other than criticise what you inaccurately deemed superlative? So much for living up to Stoltenberg's professed Norwegian tolerant values.
Oh, and despite all those things, I like it here and plan to stay. Despite my astonishing 70% tax bracket. Some of you are actually quite nice.
Now don't you have a Sons of Norway meeting to attend?
|by Anonymous||reply 165||08/02/2011|
R161, if like living in Scandinavia, why don't you tell us what you like about living in the region?
R162 is beyond words. Really.
|by Anonymous||reply 166||08/02/2011|
Sadly, Scandinavian society and environment help breed nutcases like that shooter. Ghana is far poorer than Norway, but you'll never hear of someone, acting alone, to cause such carnage.%0D %0D Sorry, but this thread should stay as proof for the arguments made further upthread about wealth and happiness not being related.
|by Anonymous||reply 167||08/02/2011|
I'm a pretty hardcore alcoholic and can drink just about anyone under the table, but even I couldn't keep up with the Norwegians when I was in Bergen for the Midsomer holiday. Everyone there from young to old was completely obliterated.
|by Anonymous||reply 168||08/02/2011|
But -- but -- how can all those SOCIALISTS be HAPPY??
|by Anonymous||reply 169||08/02/2011|
r160 sounds anything but happy.
|by Anonymous||reply 170||08/04/2011|
So, the so-called happiest country in the world has produced a monster ruthless enough to rival Hitler, Stalin, Osama and Saadam? It must be the weather.
|by Anonymous||reply 171||04/21/2012|
LOL! The shithole known as the UK isn't even on the list. Maybe they should get rid of all those disgusting asylum seekers who are ruining their country.
|by Anonymous||reply 172||04/21/2012|
R161, the anger and hostility in your posts make clear why being happy here is not about location. It's a way of looking at the world, moderation, and appreciating the positives more than the negatives. I'm sure we could make the same indictments about your homeland if not more.
We're happy with our countries which is why we stay. You're staying here despite pissing on the country you now call home. The self-righteous assertion of you speaking "truth" doesn't explain the nastiness or your whole outlook or choices. You left your country and are staying in Scandinavia. You could be nicer about that fact.
R167, the fact that Breivik is rare disproves your point. Are you American? We see mass shootings routinely there, and in other countries more than here, so what is it we do to breed killers? Please enlighten us.
|by Anonymous||reply 173||04/21/2012|
[quote]So, the so-called happiest country in the world has produced a monster ruthless enough to rival Hitler, Stalin, Osama and Saadam? It must be the weather.
Crazy people can exist anywhere. This guy happened to be Norwegian. I think every country have their fair share of crazy people, it was just a coincidence that this monster was Norwegian, and decided to go on a murder spree here. But he might as easily have been Swedish, or British, or American.. it's not like Americans haven't had their fair share of murderers, rapists etc either.. McVeigh rings a bell, anyone? I think it's annoying that Americans can act so self righteous.. it's not like USA hasn't created any mass murderers either.
BTW.. Norway has one of the lowest murder rates in the world, excluding 22nd July. I'd still say most Norwegians are pretty happy. Unfortunately crazy people will always be crazy, and this could have happened somewhere else.. but it didn't. It happened in Norway. He is pure evil, but I refuse to let this guy destroy what Norway is, and what we stand for. We're better than him.
|by Anonymous||reply 174||04/21/2012|
r174 sounding a little defensive. But I agree with the posts about scandinavians being rather morose and joyless, despite their relative wealth, and that you're far more likely to get a smile from a stranger in an impoverished third world country such as Ecuador or Uganda.
|by Anonymous||reply 175||04/29/2012|
...*quietly scratching head at how an index concerning itself with happiness can get so many people vexed*...
'No - you're more unhappy!' 'No - you are!'
Repeat to fade.Â
Ironically, as someone not living in a country blessed enough to be in that top ten of happiness, I'm feeling a little bit happier about it right now.Â
I've travelled all over the world. Some people have the happy. Some don't. No country or culture has the monopoly.Â
I can say that I'd prefer to be unhappy in a liberal, egalitarian Scandinavian country with progressive laws, subsidised education for all, a culture that remains connected to its traditions and its natural environment, social rights and welfare provision that means poverty of many doesn't shame the few... Â Than somewhere which has it all - but keeps it to the preserve of the few, isn't embarrassed by its own people dying for lack of funds to access basic healthcare, where the populace knows more about Britney's latest drama than what's happening in the rest of the world, that rarely travels outside it's own country, that is dominated by religious extremists setting the national agenda and thinks everybody toting a gun is a good thing.Â
However, there's much to love about America. More people would join me in appreciating it if American patriotism was just turned down a few notches to realise beyond pop culture - the rest of the world is doing some pretty cool stuff and getting along ok, thanks very much and all.Â
|by Anonymous||reply 176||04/29/2012|
R175 have you lived a considerable amount of time in all of Scandinavia, Ecuador and Uruguay?
You're quite the expert.
I lived in NYC and was told by other Americans how unfriendly it is. On the subway and street, yes, between strangers. The rest of my time there was incredible, from neighbors to colleagues, it was an incredibly friendly place.
I'm part Swedish, part Danish and live in Sweden. Do we keep to ourselves in public? Yes. But at parties, it's the Americans and Brifs who are really awkward and reserved while we stand on tables and chairs and sing. Get us at coffee time and see lots of smiling.
Don't stereotype people based on your narrow observations.
|by Anonymous||reply 177||04/29/2012|
[quote]I can say that I'd prefer to be unhappy in a liberal, egalitarian Scandinavian country with progressive laws, subsidised education for all, a culture that remains connected to its traditions and its natural environment, social rights and welfare provision that means poverty of many doesn't shame the few...
To each his own, I suppose. But as a non-American I'll tell you the sanitized, welfare utopia you just described may not be quite as appealing as think. America, for all it's faults is one of the most culturally vibrant places on earth. The inequalities you speak off, the tension and conflict, slavery, civil rights movement etc gave us cultural treasures such as Jazz, Blues, Soul and Rock n' Roll. Your literature, theatre and cinema in the last century electrified the world. Immigrants from such places as Ireland and Italy produced a unique culture with a sports culture or a cuisine to be marveled at.
And its not just America, when I think of Brazil, Latin America, the Caribbean or Africa, I think drums, dancing, great art, music, wildlife and not just the poverty, disease and famine you see on the news.
Meanwhile, safe, sanitized, homogenous Scandinavia is a flat, colourless, uninteresting place the sucks creativity and joy out of human beings. Ikea and Nokia is what the world has to thank them for. Say what you want, but I can't imagine living in a world with no John Steinbeck or Louis Armstrong. I'd pick Barbados or Cuba over Sweden or Denmark any day.
|by Anonymous||reply 178||04/29/2012|
R178, are you writing that from Scandinavia and blaming us for your joylessness?
We are three small countries, and yet have managed somehow to produce ABBA, Ibsen, Bergman, Grieg, Munch and on and on...
Our scholars, like the Myrdals, Celsius, Linnaeus, Nobel, have had an imoact on the world...
And your claim that we're joyless, ignoring the data in this very thread, based on your grudge against Ikea?
wow, you are really credible.
|by Anonymous||reply 179||04/29/2012|
[quote] are you writing that from Scandinavia and blaming us for your joylessness?
No. But I've had the misfortune to spend about 7 months there. Enough for me.
[quote]We are three small countries, and yet have managed somehow to produce ABBA, Ibsen, Bergman, Grieg, Munch and on and on...
Oh, dear. Anyone who considers plastic, inauthentic ABBA a cultural force, let alone compare them to Jazz, Blues and Soul is incorrigible. Speaking of which, does anyone make music in Danish, Swedish or Norwegian? Seriously?
[quote]And your claim that we're joyless, ignoring the data in this very thread, based on your grudge against Ikea?
For such a "happy" society, your suicide rates seem to show that as one of the hobbies you happily partake.
|by Anonymous||reply 180||04/29/2012|
R180, you're still proving that it's you that's bitter and joyless and uncultured, not Scandinavians.
I mentioned ABBA just because they are loved on DL and not generally considered joyless. I could just as easily have mentioned Alice Babs, whom Duke Ellington chose as his muse, and if you knew anything about music, especially jazz, you'd know how well known Scandinavian jazz is.
Note how you glide past playwrights, filmmakers, artists, etc and think that by picking out one thing you like to mock as reason to condemn three countries.
And distort facts - the suicide rate in Scandinavia is not significantly or dramatically different from most countries. Our murder rate, as noted above, is actualyly dramatically lower. But you ignore this, too.
You're not credible, R180. You're certainly miserable - and since we now know you're NOT here, your seven month stint really doesn't make you qualified to condemn a region of the world.
|by Anonymous||reply 181||04/29/2012|
Thanks for derailing the thread r181, but I have no interest in debating whether "Scandinavian jazz" exists or some singer you think might be Sweden's Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holiday. Why there's no original music out of Scandinavia and just imitators singing in English, and that you can compare it to a cultural movement is a subject for another thread.
The point being made here is happiness and wealth don't necessarily go hand in hand. Incase you haven't read the thread, I'll repost r110 for you:
[quote]That Swedish author Henning Mankell splits his time between Sweden and Mozambique and he says that in Sweden you never see people dancing in the street, smiling, singing or acting in anyway exuberant about life. This is a Swede saying this, not me. I have never been there. I did live in Holland for awhile. In the Northern European countries the people are extremely reserved and even people from those countries complain it is hard to meet people/socialize. I would rather live in a place where people enjoy their life and have good food such as France, Italy, Caribbean etc. But I do admire the social net and systems of the Scandanavian countries not to mention their (non Ikea) design aesthetic. Blond maple wood and streamlined sofas anyone, anyone?
What this author says is not news to many who've already posted on this here.
|by Anonymous||reply 182||05/01/2012|
Americans are culturally conditioned to say they are happy, even if that is not true. especially when the question is asked of them by a stranger doing a survey.
|by Anonymous||reply 183||05/01/2012|
I'd kill myself if I were forced to live in Norway. Not only do I hate the cold, but it's dark all the time, and the food is gross and shitty.
|by Anonymous||reply 184||05/01/2012|
damn this thread is racist. You people aren't happy that's for sure.
|by Anonymous||reply 185||05/01/2012|
WE ARE HAPPY, DAMMIT! - Scandinavians.
|by Anonymous||reply 186||05/01/2012|
r180, plenty of music is made in Swedish, Danish or Norwegian and in all genres too. Rap, pop, elctronica, rock, metal...you name it.
Overall, I don't get why people here are after Scandinavians in general for being "miserable" or "unhappy" just because we stick to ourselves when waiting at the bus stop or don't randomly burst into a song or dance (seriously, wtf? Since when has it been a goal to live your life like a fucking musical?)
Yes, I'm from Scandinavia. Yes, I'm proud of my heritage, and I wouldn't want to live any other place. Sure, we have bad weather and dark winters. But we also have nice weather and light summers. I like the marked difference between the seasons. I like our food, I like our traditions. I like that I can understand my neighbouring countries' languages. I like that I went to a school that's taught me two (three if Spanish in high school counts) other languages. Am I happy? Not all the time, of course. No one is. But overall I'd say I'm happy.
|by Anonymous||reply 187||05/11/2012|
I refuse to believe Finland is that high. THey are a miserable bunch. Ever seen that 60 Minutes piece?
|by Anonymous||reply 188||05/11/2012|
What do you expect r187, when you claim to be happier than others?
|by Anonymous||reply 189||05/11/2012|
Is the weather better this time of year?
|by Anonymous||reply 190||05/14/2012|
Norway, Denmark, Finland, Australia, Sweden, Switzerland all the same. White with tiny minorities.
New Zealand, Canada, Netherlands, larger minorities but still almost all white and the same.
The USA is the only country on the list with ethnic diversity. We have over a quarter of population as minorities.
THE USA RULES. The others are just racist
|by Anonymous||reply 191||05/14/2012|
R191 The desperation with which you attempt to paint all other nations as racist in comparison with the US makes me suspect which country is truly racist, here.
|by Anonymous||reply 192||05/15/2012|
The only truly western multi-racial countries are the US, the UK and France.
|by Anonymous||reply 193||05/16/2012|
R191 Racist? You do realize why Africans are a small minority in Scandinavia, don't you?
We didn't have SLAVERY.
|by Anonymous||reply 194||05/16/2012|
Actually, R194, we did. It was just before the Middle Ages. The historical records even indicate that the men and women in bondage had slightly darker skin and thicker skulls, so that bondage had racial overtones.
|by Anonymous||reply 195||05/16/2012|
[quote]You honestly believe Spain is the second least religious country in the world?
If you've traveled in Spain, met any Spaniards or studied Spanish history you wouldn't be so surprised.
Spain has a very strong anti-clerical tradition, and the young people are uniformly uninterested in the Church. Gay marriage is legal, and abortion laws are among the least restrictive in Europe.
|by Anonymous||reply 196||05/16/2012|
[r188]My mother is Finnish and I have spent enough time in Finland to profer my observation that yes, Finns are pretty happy. My cousins have never had to even think about how to pay for school, retirement, going to the doctor. The maternity leave is incredible. Most Finns have a small cottage on a lake in addition to their regular home and so have a weekend and summer retreat. The food is hearty and healthy, if not exciting, and they love strong coffee. Light rail is everywhere, and the Finns are extremely tech savvy (Nokia, after all, is a Finnish company). I love visiting and am very proud of my Finnish heritage.
|by Anonymous||reply 197||05/16/2012|