Simplicity: Happiness in Denmark

So, it’s a Friday morning in 2010, the snow is gorgeous, the sun is shining and I’ve just  found this wonderful article about the happiest people on earth. Welcome to Denmark.

Part 1 – Safety, Minimalism and Marriage

Part 2 – Success, Religion and Socialism

Obviously it’s difficult to make an objective opinion from a single video. However, it sounds like the people in this country are all about health, family, education and trust.

Sounds great, right?

Let’s looks at these in a little more detail.

Key Points:

“If you have a healthy people because we have free healthcare… and you have free education then you have healthy, well-educated people and what can beat that?” – Nanna Norup

“The more you earn; the more you pay in taxes.” – Danish Woman

“Every meal is here. Always. We like to spend the time together as a family. That really important for us.” – Nanna Norup

More about having a marriage than “getting married”. ~Oprah Winfrey

“Every meal is here. Always. We like to spend the time together as a family. That really important for us.”  – Nanna Norup

“Nobody wants to steal your babies. So you feel really safe.” – Line Ambye

“We don’t necessarily think of it as [socialism], we more think of it as being civilised – that you take care of your old and your sick and you make sure that people get well educated.” – Nanna Norup

“It’s about finding the right balance between work – having a creative dream, having a career and also being a mother and having the good time with your kids… to be able to spend time with them every day.” – Stine Holscher

Success is defined by:   (Nanna Norup)

  • Values
  • How you balance work and family.
  • Being creative or intellectual
  • Happiest is a success.

The key point of the whole movie, for me was Experience over consumerism. And to boot, they’re all about the environment, as well as caring for the people.

My Ideas

I think I know where I have to visit in the next few years; and it’s Denmark. Simplicity isn’t just about clean and tidy. It’s about living by your values, spending time with your family and trust in your community.

Isn’t that AMAZING?! It really is mind-blowing that there are whole cities out there who have ‘got it’; who know that it’s experience, not stuff. And yet the rest of us are still stuck in the media’s grasp of materialism.

Doesn’t it just sound perfect? I think so. Would you love to put your loves first, to spend time with family and to have a clean, tidy house?

What’s stopping you? How could you edge just one step closer to that? If this sounds idyllic, why turn the TV off for one night a week and spend an hour with your partner, your kids or invite some friends round?

I know I’m going to work towards it.


Picture Credit: Siggidóri

Edit: For a wider perspective on this topic, please visit:

Early Retirement Extreme


Katia Takes KØbenhavn


4 thoughts on “Simplicity: Happiness in Denmark

  1. Educating your children, caring for your elderly and having family time do NOT have to come solely through government subsidy. Having the government take over these areas severely erodes personal liberty. Don’t make the mistake of endorsing a comfortable lifestyle while giving up basic rights. HUGE consequences there for yours and succeeding generations.

  2. This post is brilliant! 🙂 Makes me jealous though because I wish Canada would take lessons from the Danes, Swiss, Norwegians and Swedish. We don’t though… and eventually follow the USA down the same ruinous path.

  3. Hey Rose! Another great post, it sounds like a total dream to live in a city where everyone has got it together, it gives you hope!

    How inspiring, thanks for pointing to the article, it was a very interesting read!

  4. Great review of the videos too. I think you point out some of the great values that I didn’t stress.

    Also, someone left an opposition article link in the comments. I am all about checking out both sides of the perspective so you may like to read that as well.

    Great article here…

    David Damron

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