And The Happiest Place On Earth Is...

Morley Safer On Why The Danes Are Considered The Happiest People On Earth

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For example: they have no student loans hanging over their heads. All education is free in Denmark, right on through university. And students can take as long as they like to complete their studies.

"And we get paid to go to school actually. Instead of in the U.S. you pay to go to school, we get paid to go to school if we pass our exams," a student explains.

"Americans watching this particularly people your age would be bowled over by the very idea that the government pays you to go to school," Safer remarks.

"Yeah," the student acknowledges.

"I'm being paid right now for not going to school. I'm being paid for parenting," another male student tells Safer. "It's 100 percent paid for by the government for half a year."

Denmark also provides free health care, subsidized child care and elder care, a social safety net spread the length and breadth of the country.

"I mean, we're pretty much free to do whatever we want. We're secure from the day we're born. For a Dane who lives in Denmark," a male tells Safer.

Fish and beer-a-holics they may be, but workaholics they are not: Dr. Christensen says the average work week is 37 hours, and workers get six weeks of vacation.

But in getting all of these wonderful gifts from the government, the Danes do pay a price. Christensen says a middle income person would pay about 50 percent - half - in taxes.

And that is one trade-off most Americans are not willing to make. Americans, according to Harvard Psychology lecturer Tal Ben-Shahar, want it all.

"In America, part of the ethos, part of the American dream, is that more is better and the more is better usually applies to the material realm. And that doesn't pan out. That doesn't work. It doesn't make us happier," he says.

Ben-Shahar teaches a course at Harvard called "Positive Psychology," the science of happiness. He began the class four years ago, and it has become the most popular course on campus, enrolling some 1,400 students. In the U.S., the quest for happiness begins in what's alleged to be the happiest years of our lives.

"There's a lot of unhappiness on college campuses. And it's not just at Harvard. Over 94 percent of college students nationwide are stressed and overwhelmed. And students are paying a very high price for this pressure," Ben-Shahar says.

That pressure is a result of high expectations; wanting it all is a bacterium that stays with us from youth to old age - wanting a bigger house, fancier car, more stuff. And when we get more, there's always someone with even more stuff, who's just as unhappy. Some suggest that the unhappiest zip codes in the country are the wealthiest, like the Upper East Side of New York.