People in Denmark Are Much Happier Than People in the United States. Here’s Why.

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Last week, in Denmark, Malthe and Lærke Knudson had a baby girl they named Emma. That same day, the Robinsons—Dale and Beth—had a little baby in the United States. They called her Rachel.

Right now, they’re just two little babies keeping their parents awake at night. But Emma and Rachel were born in countries that have very different priorities, and that’s going to lead to pretty different futures.

It all boils down to this: Though Danes pay a lot more than Americans in taxes and government fees, they get a whole lot more back in social services: Almost three times as much!

As a result, Americans end up spending twice as much out-of-pocket for those social goods and services. Let’s see how that plays out over their two lives.