Why Denmark is Home to the Happiest People in the World

Smiling Girls
Smiling Girls | ©Unknown/maxpixel
Aliki Seferou

Even though Denmark ranked second in this year’s World Happiness Report, with Norway taking its place, it has been crowned as the world’s happiest country already three times in the past. Well, being second among more than 150 countries isn’t bad at all and here is why.

Many people often wonder how happiness can be measured and how it’s possible that a country with almost five months of darkness and an increase in antidepressants can be considered home to the happiest people in the world. Well, we can’t talk on behalf of 5.5 million Danes but the residents of the small Scandinavian country enjoy some benefits and rights throughout their whole life that most people around the world can’t even begin to imagine. Government corruption, political freedom, physical and mental health, job security and family life can be measured and based on these factors, Denmark held first place among 156 countries in the 2012 ranking of countries for the UN Conference on Happiness.


Let’s assume that you can study in college for free and while being enrolled to university you’re entitled to monthly grants of approximately $900. Then when after graduation you get a job, most likely related to your studies, you can get five to six weeks of paid vacation time a year, plus the public holidays. Finally, if you happen to lose your job you have two years to find a new one while receiving 90% of your salary. Sounds like a sci-fi scenario? Not to Danes.

It’s not without reason that Denmark’s residents see their government as their ‘second parents’. It’s always there to financially support them and that’s the reason that you’ll never hear a Dane complaining for paying 53.5% in taxes. They get it back in the form of social services including health care, retirement and education. From pre-school to college, education is for free and even if they have to pay, it will only be one-quarter of the cost of the provided services.

La Famiglia

Parents of every socio-economic class receive $630 per week for a year while they’re on parental leave and an amount of money until their children turns 17. Then the children themselves receive grants and benefits until they’re old enough to get a pension that will cover two-thirds of their pre-retirement income. With all these aspects in mind we guess it no longer sounds so weird that Denmark is considered the second happiest country in the world.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.