Great Social SupportGiven the fact that Scandinavian countries are all comprehensive welfare states, it can be safely assumed that Norway’s government looks out (well!) for its citizens. Yes, they do have one of the highest tax rates in the world, but that’s acceptable when citizens get free medical treatment until the age of 16, five weeks of paid vacation annually, 12 months of paid parental leave (14 weeks of which can be taken by the father), free education through university level and a guaranteed pension for anyone older than 67, regardless of occupation.
An Excellent Health Care ProgrammeNorway has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. It has been ranked 11th by the World Health Organisation. Public healthcare is universally available for a nominal deduction of about $300 per year, while children below 16 are treated for free. So what do they get? Approximately $9,715-worth of health services per head per year, which is the highest in the world.
Supportive Family and FriendsOne big factor in happiness is how much support you get from your community and Norway seems to have that in spades. One might wonder if the much-maligned ‘Law of Jante’ has something to do with this; Scandinavians would be quick to refute this, but they do seem to have some pretty strong ties within their community. It may have to do with the brutal weather there fostering a close-knit social structure, but for all we know it might even have to do with their love for death metal music – whatever it is, people in Norway have historically supported each other and brought communities closer.
Gender EqualityWomen in Norway hold just as much power as men in every aspect of society. The country is dedicated to bringing women into the workplace and keeping them there. In fact, the country has a female workforce participation rate of 76 percent, easily the highest in the world. Furthermore, the same laws protect both men and women; they have equal access to education, health and social services. But they had to work to get here. In 2003, Norwegian legislated that at least 40 percent of a public company’s board members must be female. Here in India, we have only just got the ball rolling when it comes to the matter of maternity leave.
-Like this article? Also see: How to Win Friends and Influence People at Work Image courtesy: Shutterstock.com