Monday, April 9, 2012

United Nation's World Happiness Report -- Scandinavians Are the Happiest

 I enjoyed reading the recent Huffington Post article, Scandinavian Countries Are Happiest on Earth, which was based on the 158-page report, published by Columbia University's Earth Institute, commissioned for the United Nations Conference on Happiness. The goal of the study was to "review the state of happiness in the world today and show how the new science of happiness explains personal and national variations in happiness."

Having spent two weeks in Gothenburg, Sweden recently, where I will be on my upcoming sabbatical, I can attest personally to the quality of life there. The healthcare infrastructure is wonderful as is the transportation infrastructure. People get together in cafes and there is a lot of social interaction. Plus, you see all ages walking and biking in the city which has stunning architecture. My family and I have also lived in Stockholm, Sweden, so I have more than one data point on this special Scandinavian country.

At the School of Business, Economics and Law at Gothenburg University in Sweden, where I now hold a Visiting Professorship, the faculty and students regularly get together. We looked forward to the basket of fruit arriving on Tuesdays -- to the cakes and coffee on Thursdays, and to celebrations of a paper published. Groups would go out to lunch or gather in the cafeteria right in the Business School (where i would go down for some extra dark chocolate as an afternoon treat).

Above are photos that I took on just one day in mid-March in Gothenburg while taking in some fresh air and exercise before going to the Business School.

I have posted some additional photos here.