Recently there was a function in Oprah showing that Denmark has the happiest people on Earth. I’m Danish, but in retrospect I was never too happy living there. Now I live in the US Obviously, there are some aspects that I prefer about Denmark compared to the US, such as their health care system. In general, though, Denmark isn’t the best place for ambitious people with a plan to retire early or do what Americans call awesome.

stuff. I consider the probability that it will ever return permanently to be small.

Granted, Americans tend to call everything, including their breakfast, “awesome.”


First, Oprah’s segment showed basically the upper middle class of Copenhagen. What she saw was not typical: the apartment she is shown is currently for sale for $1.25 million, very few live like this.

but the attitudes presented are typical of the “educated” segment, that is, around 40% of the population —especially those with secure positions in government, which is a lot.

Your general suburban house outside of the capital is between $200k and $400k.

Comparatively speaking, Danes spend a lot of their money on housing (the houses are really well built) and less on things to fill the houses simply because they have less money left. To say that everyone is skinny from biking is an exaggeration, to say the least.  Still, the body shape that's considered average in the US is considered overweight in… well, pretty much the rest of the world.  Etc.  Danes would consider themselves a bit chubby on average compared to Eastern Europeans who seem to eat better (less meat and fewer processed foods).

There is universal health care, universal education, and universal unemployment “insurance.” It is true that there are very few homeless (all drug addicts). The streets are safe, but don’t leave an unlocked bike anywhere (!). Danes aren’t violent, but many aren’t exactly upstanding citizens, either. The priority is vacations and free time, not work time. This is because marginal tax rates are extreme, so why bother working? And because the unions are strong, which means those who have jobs get a lot of vacation time, but vice versa. that unemployment is high. Is this a good thing? It is if you have a job.

Religion is very weak. This is due to socioeconomic aspects (no one needs to make sense of religion) and historical reasons. The Danes were always a pagan bunch and conveniently “believed” what their king subscribed to. The institution of marriage has resigned itself to tradition. People have children long before they get married, if at all. Anyone who lives together for two years is considered practically married, that is, they have the same rights as officially married people. Denmark was one of the first, if not the first, country to legalize gay marriage. Frankly, nobody really cares. Humanism is quite high; relative to GDP, Denmark is one of the largest contributors of foreign aid.

What’s not to like? The downside is a resulting small town mentality.

with its low tolerance for individuality, being different or standing out, low tolerance for ambition, very low levels of entrepreneurship, a smug belief that it is the best country in the world (well, you see that in the US too, except in the United States it is not smug


), and few opportunities for being a small country.

This is self-evident to me, since I was born there and lived abroad for 10 years.

Everyone gets the same average (mediocre?) education, regardless of whether they are talented or not. In other words, if “average” is the goal, this is a great country since almost everything will take you toward _average_. In that sense, for example, the school system does not give “awards” for anything that is in direct contrast to the American system.

However, it can be shown that happiness comes mainly from comparison with neighbors, so if the neighbor is average and you are too, it makes you happy. This, I think, is the main reason why most Danes are happy. However, there are some extreme types there and they have a hard time being happy in such an environment, so they emigrate. How to become a Dane: You can become a citizen by living there for 7 years. You can do it with any EU passport (open borders). I know you can marry a European, obviously. I don’t know of any other ways, but getting a job there can work; I guess it’s similar to the US Check your nearest embassy/consulate. If you wish to emigrate, I would advise you not to bring any or much of your own culture with you as this is frowned upon. Danes are indeed very tolerant, but only if you’re exactly like them, right? Copyright © 2007-2023 earlyretirementextreme.com This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only. Use of this feed on other websites infringes copyright. If you see this notice anywhere other than your newsreader, it means that the page you are viewing is infringing copyright. Some sites use random word substitution algorithms to obfuscate the origin. Find the original, uncorrupted version of this publication at earlyretirementextreme.com. (Fingerprint: 47d7050e5790442c7fa8cab55461e9ce)Originally posted Oct 23, 2009 12:30:23.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *