Denmark is one of the Nordic countries that always seems to appear in the ‘top 10’ of most expat rankings as a country that is bound to appeal to expats. It recently was ranked as one of the top countries when it comes to ‘Health and Wellbeing’, coming in at in 3rd place out of 65 countries in InterNations 2017 Expat Insider Survey. So let’s see what makes it so wonderful:
Everyone is very happy
Denmark was rated as the happiest country in the world in 2012 by the first ever United Nations World Happiness Index and in 2017 it comes in at 2nd place, following closely behind Norway. Denmark scores consistently highly on all the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance.
Everyone is very polite
Danish courtesy is legendary and Danes never forget to say please, thank you and you’re welcome. Despite the courtesy communication is very relaxed with the majority of Danes addressing each other with the informal “du” (you).
Ideal work/life balance
One of the reasons Danes are so happy is that they are committed to achieving a good work/life balance. In the 2017 Expat Insider Survey Denmark ranked in 1st position when it came to work/life balance and consistently appears in the top five countries in this category.
For Danes and expats in Denmark, a good work-life balance means being able to ensure that both their family and career achieve equal attention, with one not outweighing the other. Denmark’s welfare model, its flexible working conditions and a minimum of five weeks’ paid holiday per year makes all this possible. Generous parental leave of 52 weeks and the fact that the government guarantees full-time daycare to all children up to the age of 6, at a cost directly related to the parent’s income, also helps achieve this balance.
“Hygge” is prioritised
“Hygge” is an untranslatable yet deep-rooted Danish concept that has a huge impact on the Dane’s happiness. The word describes a state of feeling ‘cosy with inner contentment’. It can refer to the warm glow of candlelight, quality time with family or a good meal with friends. It epitomises everything that feeds the soul and is the basis for a happy life. Christmas is a time when hygge is very apparent with candles, fairy lights and plenty of mulled wine. In summer hygge is all about open-air concerts, picnics, street festivals and bike rides.
Flexible and laid-back work life
It’s important to realise before moving to Denmark that its economy is founded on government welfare and equitable distribution of income. It’s a country that provides many opportunities for expats within the high-tech agricultural sector. There are also positions available at world-leading pharmaceutical companies and maritime shipping firms. Denmark also has one of the highest GDP per capita in the EU. As part of the Danish commitment to work/life balance only 2% of employees regularly work very long hours and according to the OECD Better Life Report, they spend two-thirds of their day (16 hours) eating, sleeping and indulging in leisure and family-based pursuits.
If you’re thinking of moving to Denmark to enjoy its excellent work/life balance, contact FinGlobal for assistance with transferring of funds from South Africa.