Denmark named happiest country in world - again

Denmark, perhaps better known for its fictional, suicidal prince Hamlet and fierce marauding Vikings than being a nation of the happiest people, has just won that very accolade. Again.

The cheerful residents of the Danish capital Copenhagen. Picture: AP

Even US Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have singled out the small Scandinavian country as an example of a happy, well-oiled society.

Yesterday, the United Nations made it official – it found Danes to be the happiest people on Earth in a study of 156 countries.

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Knud Christensen, a 39-year-old social worker, knows one reason why his compatriots are laid-back – they feel secure in a country with few natural disasters and little in the way of corruption.

“We have no worries,” Mr Christensen said, smiling as he stood on a Copenhagen street near the capital’s City Hall. “And if we do worry, it’s about the weather. Will it rain today, or remain gray, or will it be cold?”

The Scandinavian nation of 5.6 million has held the happy title twice before since the world body started measuring happiness around the world in 2012. The accolade is based on a variety of factors: People’s health and access to medical care, family relations, job security and social factors, including political freedom and degree of government corruption.

Egalitarian Denmark, where women hold 43 per cent of the top jobs in the public sector, is known for its extensive and generous cradle-to-grave welfare.

After Denmark, the next happiest nations last year were Switzerland, Iceland and Norway, followed by Finland, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden. The UK was 23rd.