Study: Danes work less than most

International study shows people in Denmark work – and clean – less than people in nearly all other countries

"Hey, are you working hard – or hardly working?”


Ask a person in Denmark that old saw, and the answer is probably the latter, suggests a new study.


Danes are second only to Belgians as the people in the world who work the least, according to a new study from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).


The study, which looked at the working habits of people in 30 different countries, took into account both paid employment and unpaid work, such as cleaning, cooking, shopping, and other household chores.


Mexicans worked the most hours of everybody, putting in an average of 10 hours of paid and un-paid work each day. The Japanese came in a close second.


In contrast, Danes were found to work just 7.5 hours a day in total, with both paid work and daily chores factored in. Only Belgians worked less at just seven hours per day.


The study also attempted to calculate the total worth of unpaid work as a percentage of GDP. It estimated that unpaid work amounts to the equivalent of one-third of GDP on average, ranging from a low of 19 percent in Korea to a high of about 53 percent in Portugal.


Numerous studies over the years – including one in 2009 from the OECD – have ranked Danes as the ”happiest” people in the world, or the people who say they are most content with their lives.


Might there be a connection between our hardly-working habits and much-heralded happiness?