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24th Sep 2018

Retired Danes happiest people in Europe

  • Danes are still among the Europeans most satisfied with their life (Photo: Colville-Andersen)

Recently retired Danes are the happiest people in Europe, according to data collected by the EU's statistical agency Eurostat. Bulgarians are the least happy.

On average, Europeans grade their life as 7.1 on a 10-point scale, Eurostat announced Thursday (19 March). The publication of the data has been timed for Friday's International Day of Happiness.

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  • Bulgarians, often on the streets protesting against government corruption, are least satisfied with their lives (Photo: Uwe Hiksch)

Eurostat asked Europeans: “Overall, how satisfied are you with your life these days?”.

Danes, Finns, Swiss, and Swedes were most satisfied, with an average of 8. The Dutch and Austrians are not far behind with 7.8.

On the low end of the spectrum, Bulgarians are least satisfied, rating it 4.8 on average. Life is even more miserable for those in older age groups: while Bulgarians between 16 and 24 rate their lives as 5.8, those over 75 say just 3.8.

In general, life gets less satisfactory for most Europeans as they get older, although it receives a slight bump in the age group 65 to 74. In Denmark for example, those in that age group are the happiest in the country (8.6).

According to Eurostat, this is because it is the age group “which is for most people the period right after retirement”.

Higher rates of life satisfaction correlate with higher income, better education, and having people available to discuss problems with or to get help from when needed.

There is hardly any difference between the average happiness of women and men (7.0 and 7.1, respectively).

The outcome (happy Nordics, miserable Bulgarians) generally matches previous research, although there are some differences.

Compared to a research by the UK’s Office of National Statistics last Summer, Greeks have become a lot happier. At the time 48 percent of Greeks disagreed with the statement that their life was worthwhile.

According to the Eurostat figures, Greeks now give their life a 6.2. It is especially the young Greeks that raise the average.

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