So how could Denmark's happiness make it a friendly country, too? Well, according to a report by ABC News, one of the defining features of the Danes is their very social nature. Approximately 92 percent of the country's citizens are involved in some sort of social club, from model trains to laughing practice. Additionally, if a Danish person gets some friends together for a monthly book club meeting, there is a chance the government will send some money to the group. It is hardly a surprise that with all this social interaction, the Danish seem to be some of the happiest people on the planet, and it follows that a happy population with a strong social life would then be the friendliest around.
Furthermore, the Danish are some of the most trusting people in the world, with many of their vegetable stands running on a pure honor system and bicycles left unlocked on the street. Such trust can only breed friendship and encourage a strong bond between the citizens. Also, part of that trust comes from the fact that the average Danish person, while able to afford nice things, is hardly interested in the material value of the objects he or she purchases. Instead, Danes are simply happy with what they own. By not putting so much pressure on obtaining material goods, they tend to value their friendships even more [source: ABC News].
Finally, in Copenhagen, a city of more than 1 million residents, 1 in 3 people commutes to work or school on a bike. That means less pollution and less congestion. And really, how can you be anything but friendly when biking around the happiest city on the planet?
If you want to visit the friendly Danish but can't quite swing that plane ticket just yet, read on for links to more information about Denmark, happiness and friendship.
- Central Intelligence Agency. "The World Factbook: Denmark." 2010. (Oct. 8, 2010)https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/da.html
- City of Copenhagen. "Copenhagen is the city of cyclists." 2010. (Oct. 8, 2010)http://www.kk.dk/sitecore/content/Subsites/CityOfCopenhagen/SubsiteFrontpage/LivingInCopenhagen/CityAndTraffic/CityOfCyclists.aspx
- Denmark.dk. "Facts about Denmark." 2010. (Oct. 8, 2010)http://www.denmark.dk/en/menu/About-Denmark/Denmark-In-Brief/Facts-about-Denmark.htm
- University of Leicester. "University of Leicester Produces the first ever World Map of Happiness." 2007. (Oct. 8, 2010)http://www2.le.ac.uk/ebulletin/news/press-releases/2000-2009/2006/07/nparticle.2006-07-28.2448323827
- Weir, Bill and Sylvia Johnson. "Denmark: The Happiest Place on Earth." ABC News. Jan. 8, 2007. (Oct. 8, 2010)http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=4086092&page=1