This year's World Happiness Report again ranks Denmark among the top three happiest of 155 countries surveyed – a distinction that the country has earned for seven consecutive years.
The U.S., on the other hand, ranked 18th this year, a four-spot drop from last year's report.
Denmark's place among the world's happiest countries is consistent with many other national surveys of happiness (or, as psychologists call it, "subjective well-being").
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What might explain the unhappiness epidemic?
Scientists like to study and argue about how to measure things. But when it comes to happiness, a general consensus seems to have emerged.
Depending on the scope and purpose of the research, happiness is often measured using objective indicators (data on crime, income, civic engagement and health) and subjective methods, such as asking people how frequently they experience positive and negative emotions.
Why might Danes evaluate their lives more positively? As a psychologist and native of Denmark, I've looked into this question.
Yes, Danes have a stable government, low levels of public corruption, and access to high-quality education and health care. The country does have the the highest taxes in the world, but the vast majority of Danes happily pay: They believe higher taxes can create a better society.
Perhaps most importantly, however, they value a cultural construct called "hygge" (pronounced hʊɡə).
The Oxford dictionary added the word in June 2017, and it refers to high-quality social interactions. Hygge can be used as a noun, adjective or verb (to hygge oneself), and events and places can also be hyggelige (hygge-like).