around the head of the 68-mile-long Oslofjord, Oslo is probably the most
spacious city in the world. Its 175-square-mile metropolitan area
consists of over 75 percent forests and five percent water. Its fine
deep harbor, Pipervika, stretches into the heart of the city and from it
leave ferries to Denmark and Germany.
Four Scandinavian Countries
to Top 10 Happiest Countries List by Bob Brooke
Recently, four Scandinavian countries–Norway,
Denmark, Finland, and Sweden—have been named to the list of the Top
Ten Happiest Countries by the Legatum Institute, an independent,
non-partisan organization that researches and advocates for an
understanding of global prosperity, offering the world’s only global
assessment of economic wealth and well being in its 2010 Prosperity
Index, which ranks 110 countries.
The company ranked each country on 89 variables sorted into eight
categories—economy, education, entrepreneurship, governance, health,
personal freedom, safety, and social capital. To be prosperous and
happy, and thus achieve a higher ranking, a country needs to achieve
high marks in all of these areas.
What's the most prosperous country in the world? Norway. What does
it have that the rest of the world doesn't? The world’s highest per
capita GDP of $53,000 a year. The Norwegians also have the
second-highest level of satisfaction with their standard of living,
and most say they’re satisfied with the freedom to choose the
direction of their lives. Joining Norway in the top 10 prosperous
countries are Denmark, Finland and Sweden.
What do these prosperous four Scandinavian countries have in common?
All have generous welfare benefits and lots of redistribution of
wealth. Their governments take care of their citizens, who all have
abundant civil liberties. And there are few restrictions on the flow
of capital or of labor.
Denmark, for instance, has generous unemployment benefits, enabling
workers to find just the right job and business owners the
opportunity to keep just the right number of workers. All four
Scandinavian nations foster entrepreneurship, especially Sweden,
which encourages its citizens to strive for business success. This
gives each country’s citizens the perception that working hard pays
Generally, this sense of well being contributes to high standards of
living and a happy, satisfied feeling about life. It’s no wonder
that Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden have been chosen as such
happy places to live.
Every year about 95 000 people die in
Sweden and, according to the law, everyone must be buried. There must be
room for everyone in the cemeteries, therefore the future needs of space
have to be predicted. Because of this funerals must be part of the
the early Middle Ages, driven by famine at home and the promise of
wealth to be had in other lands, the Vikings set out from Scandinavia to
conquer parts of England, Ireland, France, Russia, and even Turkey.
Bolstered by their successes, the Vikings pushed westward, eventually
crossing the North Atlantic and founding settlements in Iceland,
Greenland, and Newfoundland in Canada. Read
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