To decide where the friendliest place on Earth is, you may first look at a list of the happiest destinations on the planet. But the problem with words like "friendly" and "happy" is that they are subjective and open to a lot of varied definitions. Researchers at the University of Leicester worked on this problem, and through their efforts they created the first World Map of Happiness. They asked more than 80,000 people worldwide a series of questions that boiled down to three main points: health, wealth and access to education. They found that those countries with the best health care, highest Gross National Product per capita and best educational opportunities also tended to be the happiest. Heading up the list of the best of the best is perhaps an unlikely country: Denmark [source: University of Leicester].
The major factors that determine the Danes' happiness might come as a surprise to some, since it's not money and certainly isn't weather that has them so content. In fact, in addition to the fact that Denmark is anything but a tropical paradise, the Danish have some of the highest taxes in the world, with some citizens paying upward of 50 to 70 percent of their income in taxes. The upshot is that no matter your profession, you are roughly on the same economic level as your fellow citizens. Therefore, most Danes are encouraged to follow the career path that will offer them the most personal satisfaction, instead of choosing a job solely for the money or status. The freedom to choose the professions they enjoy has, in part, made them the happiest.
Also, all that tax money goes toward free health care and education for all of Denmark's citizens. So, not only are the Danes working in jobs they enjoy, they are ensured that they will be supplied with basic medical care and a proper education through the university level. Also, Denmark spends more on children and the elderly than any other country in the world.
So, the Danes are happy, but are they friendly? Read on to find out how happiness and friendliness are connected in Denmark.