The secret to being the happiest country in the world: Part-time work

The Netherlands

Working part-time may be the key to being one of the happiest countries in the world, according to a recent study.

The Netherlands consistently ranks within the top ten happiest countries in the World Happiness Report, most recently 7th place. And the Dutch’s joy may be largely due to their work structure.

Findings from The Economist show that on average only a fifth of the working-age population in EU member states holds a part-time job (8.7% of men and 32.2% of women). However, this is considerably more for The Netherlands which tops the list of part-time workers – 26.8% of men and 76.6% of women work less than 36 hours a week.

And the correlation between happiness and part-time work goes beyond just The Netherlands. 50% of the top ten countries in the most recent World Happiness Report are also in the top ten countries for part-time work. These include; Switzerland - the happiest country and the second highest nation of part-time workers, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Top ten countries for part-time workers (The Economist):

1. The Netherlands
2. Switzerland
3. Germany
4. Austria
5. Britain
6. Belgium
7. Norway
8. Sweden
9. Denmark
10. Ireland

Top ten countries for happiness (The World Happiness Report 2015):

1. Switzerland
2. Iceland
3. Denmark
4. Norway
5. Canada
6. Finland
7. The Netherlands
8. Sweden
9. New Zealand
10. Australia

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Comments (1)

  • RobertakaTheSaint
    Mon, 18 May 2015 5:39pm BST
    Part-time jobs might not be a decisive feel-good factor for employees. Germany, for instance, (ranking number 3 in the top ten countries for part-time workers) ranks only number 26 when general happiness is concerned.

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