Norwegians still satisfied with life

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Only the Swiss are more satisfied with their lifestyles than the Norwegians. A new survey conducted by the international organization OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) once again ranks Norwegians highly in their satisfaction with work, recreation, home life and several other factors that indicate quality of life.

Norway's streets were full of people and parades on the 17th of May, a day now celebrated by a majority immigrants as well as native Norwegians. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

A new survey indicates once again that Norwegians, shown here parading on the 17th of May, rank “exceptionally” high in their overall quality of life. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

The OECD’s annual “Better Life Index” was released this week in connection with the OECD Forum in Paris, where Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon was among those attending. The OECD concluded that Norway scored “exceptionally well” among its 34 member nations plus Russia and Brazil.

Norwegians were especially happy at work and with their lives in general, ranking second among the total of 36 nations surveyed. Norwegians enjoy a strong national economy that results in relatively high disposable income and low unemployment, although the jobless rate has risen during the first few months of this year.

Overall, the average Norwegian has a secure job, lots of free time and relatively high income. That also led to high scores in the segment of the index that measured satisfaction with the so-called “work-life balance.” The vast majority of Norwegians enjoy at least five weeks of paid holiday every year along with among the world’s highest levels of paid leave for new mothers and fathers and other social welfare programs.

Housing satisfaction left Norway with a slightly lower ranking, 5th place, possibly reflecting the soaring real estate prices of recent years that now make it increasingly difficult for young people to enter the housing market without parental assistance.

Norway ranked in the middle of the scale, however, in the health, income and net worth, and education segments. Those questioned complained about their health and health care, and their relatively high incomes didn’t always make up for Norway’s famously high prices, which usually rank among the highest in the world.

In terms of education, the ranking measured the portion of the population aged 25 to 64 that had completed high school, the average number of years in education and results of the international knowledge testing of 15 years olds known as PISA. Norway then ranked 17th out of the 36 countries.

For more details, click to the OECD’s Better Life Index website here (external link).

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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