The World's Happiest Countries are the Least Religious


Smile face

The world's happiest countries have been announced, and three of the top five are among the least religious countries in the world, reports Alfredo Garcia at Religion News Service. Garcia acknowledges that this "might be like comparing apples to bookshelves" and that "measures of 'happiness' or 'religiosity' can often be so vague and difficult to quantify that they lose their meaning" but it's a notable finding all the same. Here's more:

The nations taking the top spots include: Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands. This might not come as a surprise to many who have been to these nations. What is surprising, however, is that three of these five nations are among the top 10 least religious nations in the world (also from Gallup).

Indeed, Sweden, Denmark and Norway came in at second, third, and fourth, respectively.  Only Estonia was less religious than these nations.

(Thanks, Religion Dispatches.)

Source: Religion News Service

Image by Stig Nygaard, licensed under Creative Commons.

Vibram Guy
1/10/2013 11:49:12 PM

Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands are also leading in best salaries per capita and best quality of life. Ever thought that could be why?

barry bruington
10/28/2012 4:50:19 AM

This is a fact, it is true, it is not debatable, humans came up with the idea of god, man created god, god did not create man. If one knows a little cosomogy then he or she knows how our planet was formed, how our sun was formed before our planet, hey its a fact man thought up the idea of gods. There is only one happening in the formation of our universe that science cannot yet answer and that is what started our universe in the very beggining the poorly named big bang. In the very beggining there was only one element that was created and that was hydrogen. In the beggining there was hydrogen, so if one, still, after all the information science has given us wants to believe in a being that created the earth and us then he or she can only say god created hydrogen. Its the simplest element on the periodic table, one proton one electron. Gravity and 13 billion years of time did all the rest. Gravity pulled vast clouds of hydrogen together and after many millions of years it formed spheres and got so hot a thing called nuclear fusion took place and the first stars (suns) were alight. The largest of the stars (suns) would eventually explode in what is called super nova, these exploding suns created all the rest of the elements we have, the iron in our blood was made by an exploding sun everything around you was created by dying suns we truley are made of star dust. Why this is so hard for many to believe is understandable, its much easier to just say god did it, but if god does intervene in the universe then one has to say god makes mistakes. Now if a being is all powerful and all knowing past and future then it should never make a mistake. Now into some fairy land stuff, why would god make a great flood to kill off all the sinners ? It looks like he she it made a mistake, oops got to kill all those sinners and start all over and put noah to work. Then we have cancer,birth defects,thousands of diseases, If as some believe god created everything then it created all these things along with us. If disease was made by god and it has to be if god made all, then god either makes mistakes or intended humans to suffer. Some believers will say ' its the devil who makes birth defects and diseases" ok ya right. Come on people use your common sense, now some who have only been taught the religion way of things dont have a clue about the real way our planet and everything came to be, for most of them especially the ones who have no sense of curiosity or wonder, they will always believe. There are a few who lose their belief not from learning some science but from grief, in this I mean losing a loved one to a horrible disease, they watched someone suffer greatly before death and wonder why any caring loving god would do such a thing and may come to lose their belief, I have seen this happen. Also some in war can also lose belief in similiar ways. I dont believe religion has much to do with some nations being happier then others, I think lots of other things come into play for a people to be happier then another. I wonder why some people who are usually religous want to force others to live by their beliefs ? An example of this is many people want to stop all abortions, or stop others from using drugs, or in the muslim world force women to cover their faces, many right to lifers are no better than muslim extremests, I just cant understand why any human would have a desire to make others live by their standards or beliefs ? To say a zygote or fetus is a human being is ignorant, its not human untill it has a fully formed brain and thinks for itself. I wish all the right to lifers would put their energies into saving the millions of cats and dogs we humans kill every years. They are aware and do experience happy or sad, no i dont think they know they are going to be killed when the needle is put in yet neither does a fetus. We have a severe overpopulation problem on this planet and some want to force others to add to it when they do not desire it. We live in a world filled with ignorance some day I hope but doubt that all the desire for money and power and greed will be gone and all the children will know how to read.

Roger Nixon
1/5/2011 11:14:46 PM

I question the thoroughness/credibility of a study on National happiness that does not include Bhutan. This country doesn't even have a Gross National Product but rather, a Gross Happiness level, because happiness is so central to their lives.

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