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Swedes 'most satisfied' in Europe: report

The Local/dl · 27 May 2011, 15:13

Published: 27 May 2011 15:13 GMT+02:00

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Sweden comes in third place overall in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Better Life Initiative, coming in behind top ranked Australia and second place Canada.

The initiative, which ranks several "well-being indicators", is part of a larger OECD initiative to measure the progress of societies by looking at a number of factors which contribute to people's overall quality of life such as health, education, security, community ties, and overall life satisfaction.

The report, released earlier this week, represents "one of the first attempts to respond to the demand for comparative information on the conditions of people's lives in developed market economies".

According to the Better Life Initiative, Swedes are most satisfied with the environment, but rank their overall life satisfaction and governance highly as well.

Of the eleven factors included in the Better Life Initiative, however, Swedes are least satisfied with their incomes.

When asked by the OECD, 83 percent of people said they were satisfied with their life, much higher than the OECD average of 59 percent.

Among the 34 countries included in the Better Life Initiative ranking, Turkey ranked lowest, along with Mexico, Chile, and Estonia.

Story continues below…

The OECD plans to release a broader "How's Life?" report in October 2011.

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Your comments about this article

18:45 May 27, 2011 by JLondon

We know Sweden comes in the TOP 3 for every single survey.
18:45 May 27, 2011 by darky
They have a reason to say they are satisfied because you can be intoxicated with alcohol and you will be escorted home. Their government always protects the citizens not leaving out criminals who are hardly caught after committing a crime.
19:02 May 27, 2011 by Tanskalainen
I see several Swedes in the photo who can satisfy me.
19:40 May 27, 2011 by Frank Arbach
If the headline read "Swedes the most SELF-satisfied in Europe" I could easily agree. Lol

Surely one point here is that Swedes don't complain en masse in the way that other nationalities do, and generally accept things as they are?
20:14 May 27, 2011 by BillyB
They are satisfied because they don't understand how much better life can be, and have low expectations...
21:50 May 27, 2011 by Smiling Canuk
Sounds like a lot of sour grapes from some of you posters. Why aren't you saying the same things about the Aussies or Canuks?
03:35 May 28, 2011 by philster61
Why aren't you saying the same things about the Aussies or Canuks?

Cos they don't need a survey to tell them how content they are..... If Swedes are the mot contented in Europe then the Germans are the most charming.........All I ever hear from Swedes is complaints....
08:11 May 28, 2011 by byke
Only person missing from photo is the pope.
08:37 May 28, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
Swedes are the most content among Europeans when it comes to a number of factors related to people's sense of well-being, a new OECD report shows.

Sorry, but you do not need a report to see the reasons behind this so called "news".

1.- Their eyes are empty-looking.

2.- Their body language is pathetic.


3.- They have been brainwashed by too many years of socialistic government and now by too many years of Fredrik Reinfeldt government.

If a survey needs to be conducted to prove how "content" Swedes are, something must be wrong.
08:39 May 28, 2011 by spy
The title should be 'Swedes are the most inward looking and gullible in Europe.'

The government tells them they are happy and therefore they are - ignorance is bliss.
08:46 May 28, 2011 by skatty
@Smiling Canuk

I think one reason for many negative comments is that Sweden has become an open country to many different people since early 80s, before that it selectively chose workers and had a very brilliant repetition about its standard of life around the world, with a very homogenous population.

But with mass refugees and many international programs at universities, it lost its homogeneity (partly because of the need of market and globalisation). It faces problems, which can't solve, many newcomers don't buy the Swedish repetition and world class standard like before the 80s, because they experience the life in Sweden directly (not by media and propaganda) and many problems like discrimination, harshness of the labour market, unqualified politicians and…; in the other hand, there is an insistence to present the country as a first class country with high standards, which is in contrast with the reality for they, who are directly in touch with Swedes.

Actually to consider the welfare, there are not lot of differences between Sweden at and other EU countries at present, but Sweden still keeps the old repetition of high standards.
10:15 May 28, 2011 by star10
what is the surprise here? Sweden provides to the average citizen a peaceful, prosperous and comfortable welfare state. Things are not perfect and they can never be. But relatively speaking, Sweden is a highly successful state in serving its citizens. America might be more entrepreneurial, but it is like a big garbage where a few elite take the most (both economic resource and political influence) and the mass just moves like a mob.
12:02 May 28, 2011 by Roy E
Such self-aggrandizing articles like this one are always good for a laugh.

Confident and secure people don't even consider engaging in such navel-gazing, for they are far too busy doing things that are more constructive than seeking validation and stroking their own egos.
13:10 May 28, 2011 by canuk
this directly contradicts this article


which states that every nordic country is happier then sweden is. but all of these are of course subjective measures.....
17:47 May 28, 2011 by Species125
Comment: In my experience, much of Sweden very sadly is: a sham, a lie, state propaganda, etc. I have never witnessed such apathy as is the Swedish medical system and Socialstyrelsen which are happy to murder, torture, and abuse Swedish residents after having raped their paychecks. In Sweden, you're forced to pay the salaries of your murderers.

From what I hear, many Swedes say they were taught all growing up how wonderful and perfect and superior Sweden is, and though I have met many beautiful, very very kind souls in Sweden, I am continually shocked by a general complacency, apathy, and general absence of passion, of life, of fire, of ambition, etc. In many ways, Sweden has a very arrogant, cold, soulless, indifferent society.

Sweden often reminds me of the Eloi in the Time Machine (1960) in that they just wonder around and are indifferent to when the Morlocks gather them for food. That's a bit how it is in Sweden. The health care system murders and tortures people, and those left just walk around like such "care" is the world norm, like dogs who lick the boots that kick them.

It's disgusting that this society is marketed to the world as some sort of shining light of humanity. State ideology is the fundamentalism here. Take whatever religion that people blindly follow and substitute that with the State Ideology and you have Sweden. Reason has been abandoned, and anyone who deviates from the State Ideology is deviant. If you can't contribute to the group, then you should die because your life only brings down the group. (Didn't the sterilization laws serve to protect and strengthen the welfare state?) And you should die without complaining because afterall, it's stressful for the group to hear you die. That's what's playing on the life stage of Sweden, with set design by Ikea or Svenskt Tenn, depending on the cast(e) you were born into...
19:36 May 28, 2011 by zircon
Species125- Hear hear.
20:39 May 28, 2011 by Frank Arbach
@ Species 125


Right on !!
10:14 May 29, 2011 by ChomskyReader
@Species 125! I couldn't have put is better myself! There is a great book called: Är svensken människa, by Henrik Berggren and Lars Trägårdh, who both give the historical ascpects as to why swedes are how we see them.

Most swedes will deny this of course, feeling hard done by and insulted, however, I have never in my 10 years met a swede who speaks ill of Sweden, yet they speak ill or at least point out the problems that exist everywhere else. This is the main problem as the average swede thinks this is the greatest country on the planet they fail to see the problems that exist within the country.

Most people believe where they live is the best place this is true, however most of them will be able to tell you the problems that exist within in those countries, they tend to be less naive.
11:42 May 29, 2011 by cogito
What #4 Frank and #5 Billy B said.

That's it in a nutshell.
16:28 May 29, 2011 by Bluddre
Sure is a lot of cynism in here.

Funny how people get so worked up over an international report, calling it "self-aggrandizing" and "navel-gazing" and ranting about some body-language.

Lighten up a bit. I don't think this article is all that serious and shouldn't be taken as such. No need to get so upset.
13:46 May 30, 2011 by Streja
Swedes complain all the time. I don't know what you're talking about! Perhaps you've only met drunk Swedes abroad? :)
07:25 June 1, 2011 by Maggie Malay
@ Bluddre

"Lighten up" huh? How about this joke -

Q. Whats the penalty for suicide in Sweden?

A. Life Imprisonment

Truth is some of us are stuck here until we can figure out an escape plan!

And no, Streja - drunk Swedes can be see virtually every week in my (good) Stockholm neighbourhood - together with loud music, the screech of burning motor bike tyres....
15:35 June 4, 2011 by conboy
I think Swedes are AMAZING? No really!
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