Originally published on Finding Dutchland. Republished with full permission.
According to Unicef’s most recent Child Well Being in Rich Countries survey, Dutch kids ranked as the happiest kids in the world. Dutch kids led the way in three out of the five categories, namely material well being, educational well being, and behavior and risk.
Unicef Germany isn’t the first research organization to come to this conclusion. Surveys conducted by Britain’s Child Poverty Action Group, the World Health Organization, and Unicef International have all reached unanimous conclusions as to the happy state of Dutch Children.
Why exactly are Dutch kids the happiest in the world?
Kids on bullying and how they think we can stop it. Article continues…
As a seasoned expat mum living in stereotypical Dutch suburbia, it isn’t too hard for me to devulge the 8 secrets as to why I think Dutch kids are the happiest kids in the world.
1. Their Dutch parents are among the happiest people in the world.
It shouldn’t be surprising that the happiest kids in the world also have the parents who are also among the happiest people in the world. According to the United Nation’s first World Happiness Report just released last week, the Netherlands ranks fourth as the happiest nation on earth. Happiness, measured as an indicator for social progress, was taken quite seriously. It’s definitely a no brainer that in general, happy parents equal happy kids.
2. Their Dutch mums are genuinely happy.
Dutch psychologist and jouranlist Ellen De Bruin has written a book titled "Dutch Women Don't Get Depressed" illustrating the phenomenon. According to Ellen de Bruin, "Personal choice is key: in the Netherlands people are free to choose their life partners, their religion, their sexuality, we are free to use soft drugs here, we can pretty much say anything we like. The Netherlands is a very free country."