Trust is Key to Danish Happiness
Money can't buy happiness, but trust can. According to research done in Denmark, supposedly one of the happiest counties in the world, interpersonal trust contributes significantly to the widespread feeling of well-being there.
As economists probe better ways to measure well-being than pure wealth, they say the Danes -- who are also among the world's most prosperous people -- have a tradition of equality and trust that is not widely replicated.
Even though Americans are proud of their individualism and are disinclined to "spread the wealth" (as John McCain might put it), it seems that greater equality has a direct, positive effect on happiness. Happiness is certainly a desirable quality for the people in a country beyond the fact that it obviously improves individuals' lives because it can influence economic growth.
Bjornskov said Danish trust is very clearly connected with a better economy and a better competitive position. "It means that the judicial system functions better in Denmark, education works better than in a lot of other countries. The trust contributes to the happiness, but it also contributes to concrete economic results," he said.