Norwegians score high in human development and quality of life. Actually, Norway comes out on top. What is it about this small country in the North that makes us stand out?
Norway is one of the happiest countries in the world. Researchers believe that this is a result of several things, but a well-functioning and comprehensive welfare system is an important factor. In addition, Norwegians have a high level of trust, both in the government and in each other, and we experience a great degree of autonomy and freedom. These elements are the building blocks of Norwegian society.
Norway is politically stable and has a long history of being a social democratic country. We have been ranked as having the best democracy in the world for several years. Almost 80% voted in the 2021 Norwegian parliamentary election, compared to e.g. the 66.7% that voted in the 2020 United States Presidential election. Voting is something Norwegians expect of each other and it’s regarded as a social responsibility we all share.
A country of Robin Hoods
70% of the Norwegian people think that it is fair to tax the rich more with the intention of supporting the poor, which the government in some areas does. But we all pay relatively high taxes compared to other OECD-countries, and most of us are doing so gladly because we all benefit from it. The welfare system protects us all, equally, and helps people who for various reasons are in vulnerable phases, related to health, employment, or other issues.
You might say we got lucky and struck oil. And let’s face it, oil has a lot to do where we are today. But Norway is taking huge steps into a more sustainable future and is now a world leader in forward-looking industries like clean energy, green tech, shipping, telecom, and finance. The Norwegian business community has a good mix between the public and private sector, and we have a high GDP per capita. After the financial crises in 2007, Norway mobilised large sectors to make sure we were prepared and able to implement measures and provide resources to deal with similar situations, as the world is facing now.
According to Gallup’s Law and Order Index, Norway is one of the safest countries in the world. The crime rate is low, people have confidence in their local police and have a strong sense of personal security. Over 90 % of Norwegians feel safe walking home late at night.