Have you ever heard that Scandinavians are considered the world’s happiest people? If you haven’t, then you should know that according to research Scandinavia is the happiest place on the Earth. The World Happiness Report is a survey done by the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network every year. The survey estimates the subjective well-being of people depending on how happy the citizens perceive themselves to be in 156 countries. Therefore, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, and Scandinavian people, in general, consider themselves as happy people and are satisfied with their quality of life. 

What makes Norwegian people the happiest?

There are several reasons why the subjective well-being of Norwegians is this high. People want to feel secure and having a community that they can rely on is a priority for them. Norway is indeed an exceptional country for its social support system. The government always tries to make a community spirit which makes their citizens happier. There you can find people having good face to face interactions with each other at the workplace or in the streets. People express empathy. They are creating positive social spaces and care for each other. Ed Diener, one of the most popular positive psychologists and the author of the concept of Subjective well-being, believes that the key to our happiness is frequent positive emotions, reduced level of negative affect, and life satisfaction. People in Norway are satisfied with the living conditions or the conditions at the workplace and therefore, the life satisfaction index among them is pretty high.

Material worries

One of the main reasons why Scandinavians, and particularly Norwegians and Danes are very happy with their lives has to do with financial success and less stress over funds. Due to the extensive social policies in these countries, every citizen basically has a safety net for whenever they hit a low, or lose their job. Basically, the government guarantees that they will be well taken care of until they can bounce back both in terms of careers and health.

According to ForexNewsNow, a large financial media outlet, Scandinavians are also happy due to the disposable income that they have no matter the profession they choose at an early age. Savings, material wealth and stress-free spending is very common in Scandinavia, but this doesn’t mean that people don’t have reliable budgets to know exactly how much they can spend. But when it comes to necessities such as food, drink and shelter, they’re pretty much covered, leaving funds for only the unnecessary but desired goods and services.

Norwegian lifestyle

However, it’s not only about great social conditions and expressing empathy. Subjective well-being also consists of the possibility of entertainment. The Norwegian lifestyle is a gentle mix of balance between work and life. Compared to other countries, they have a lot of free time. They have afternoons and evenings off, in addition to the weekends and holiday days. 

People in Norway have various ways to enjoy themselves in evenings and weekends. Playing soccer and handball are among those activities. These are some of the most popular recreational activities for the youth. They also enjoy calm leisure activities like reading and playing on musical instruments. Besides, they like being outdoors, and going for long walks in the fields is part of their daily routine. 

The optimism of Norwegian people

Recent scientific studies have shown that an optimism level among the Norwegian population is quite high. Since optimism is one of the key components of subjective well-being and overall happiness, it is not surprising. People who have taken part in the qualitative research say that they look for the future with hope and believe that everything will be alright in their lives as they have stable jobs, a healthy environment, and security. The unemployment level is so low in the country, the national currency, Krone, is stable and the economy is flourishing. Besides, research suggests that optimism is the largest in the age group from 30 to 44, but the difference between age groups isn’t big. 

Low levels of crime

Another important reason that defines Norwegian’s happiness can be the low level of crime. In the latest years, Norway has had a significant decrease in crime. In 2018 the country recorded just 25 homicides. The level of organized crime, sexual assault, and theft remain on the law side as well. Because of this, people in Norway trust each other and feel safe. As a result, social relationships among them are naturally healthy. There you can see strangers smiling at each other, helping one another in the street. Psychologists often say that having warm relationships with strangers makes us happy. Social life is an essential part of feeling happy. And expressing empathy is contagious. This is one of the major reasons why Norwegians are considered as the happiest people in the world. 


In conclusion, if you want to be happy as Norwegian or as other Scandinavian people, you should try to be more optimistic about the future, entertain yourself more, engage in leisure and outdoor activities, and build healthy social relationships. Having a sense of security and good living conditions is an important part as well. However, as this year’s World’s Happiness Report shows, the five Nordic countries all rank high, but Norway drops to fifth. We are not sure yet as there hasn’t been new research, but scientists suggest that the reason may be the coronavirus pandemic which made a huge impact on the mental health of people.