OECD: Crisis had only modest impact on Denmark

Annual ‘How’s Life’ study shows that Danes weathered the storm, with their life satisfaction taking just a minor dip and their work-life balance still on top

Budgets were slashed and belts were tightened, but the economic crisis didn’t actually have an enormous impact on the average Dane according to the OECD.

In its well-being report, ‘How’s Life?’, the OECD found that the economic crisis had only a modest effect on the average Danish household, where disposable income rose around three percent between 2007 and 2011, while the Eurozone average dropped two percent over the same period.

“Of course Danes were affected [by the crisis], but far less than other countries and populations. Denmark is an international leader when it comes to living standards,” Romina Boarini, the lead author of the OECD report, told Politiken newspaper.

READ MORE: Denmark: Where happiness and trust go hand in hand

Best work-life balance
The OECD ranked each country according to eleven criteria and found that Denmark was a top performer in three – civic engagement and governance, environmental quality and subjective well-being – while having the best work-life balance of all 36 countries.

The report also identified areas in which Denmark could improve, such as health, housing and personal security. And while gender equality was rising, with ten percent more women completing university degrees than men, 22 percent of women reported that they had experienced domestic violence.

The number of Danes saying they were very satisfied with their lives dropped during the crisis because of a drop in employment, according the OECD report. Some 81 percent of Danes today declare that they are very satisfied with their lives compared to 85 percent in 2007.

The crisis was picky
While Denmark still has the most satisfied inhabitants of any OECD country, Boarini warns that Danish politicians need to be mindful of the fact that the economic crisis did not affect everyone equally.

“Our study shows that it was especially the young and low-educated who were hardest hit," she told Politiken. "That’s why politicians should be aware of the risk of poverty and social exclusion.”

Good with kids
Denmark is not merely a good place to live, it seems, but also to visit. Leading travel publication Lonely Planet has selected Denmark as one of the best travel destinations for families with children in 2014.

“Don’t overlook Denmark – compact and not always cheap, but built for kids,” Lonely Planet writes on its website. It urged travelling families to visit Tivoli and Legoland.




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