Iceland, the block of sub-Arctic lava to which these statistics apply, tops the latest table of the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Index rankings, meaning that as a society and as an economy – in terms of wealth, health and education – they are champions of the world.
And why is that?
- It is the country with the sixth highest GDP per capita in the world
- Where people buy the most books
- Where life expectancy for men is the highest in the world, and not far behind for women
- It’s the only country in NATO with no armed forces (they were banned 700 years ago)
- The highest ratio of mobile telephones to population
- The fastest-expanding banking system in the world
- Rocketing export business
- Crystal-pure air
- Hot water delivered to all Icelandic households straight from the earth’s volcanic bowels
- and so on and so forth…
Want to know how this came about, read the excellent article John Carlin on The Guardian: No wonder Iceland has the happiest people on earth.
It has something to do with them Vikings.