We have held the title before, but been stuck behind countries like Iceland and Switzerland the last few years. This year, for the first time, the World Happiness Report has a specific focus on inequality and well-being. This means that indicators such as income, poverty, education, health, and good government now play a much more significant part of the report.
Unfortunately the report does not seem to take modal share of transportation into account, the effect of which we would have loved to see here the Cycling Embassy of Denmark. However, as we are tirelessly pointing out, cycling is good for societies as it increases the quality of life for its users, while decreasing social inequality.
The overwhelming majority of health issues facing developed countries are diseases to do with the lifestyle of its inhabitants. Diabetes and obesity are arguably not beneficial for the overall happiness in a country, and both of these socioeconomic problems are quit niftily handled by having inhabitants bike more. At the same time, a healthier lifestyle is almost certain to increase the potential for social and economic individual development, making bicycling culture an obvious part of promoting a country’s happiness.
Health and equality are cornerstones of the 2016 World Happiness Report, and we have no doubt that the Danish cycling-culture is a significant part of why Denmark has taken first place again. However we are not so naïve as to believe the key to a happy life relies solely on whether or not you ride a bike to work – but it is definitely a leap in the right direction!
You can see the entirety of the report here.