Northern Europe: The Economy of Scandinavia


World Cultures Europe Northern Europe: The Economy of Scandinavia
Students explore the Nordic countries, with an emphasis on the Scandinavian economy. They review the Happiness Report 2015 (prepared for the United Nations) and note that the Nordic countries are among the happiest in the world. They explore Nordic social democracy, and how geography, technology, and immigration play a part in the economy.

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Overview

In this experience, students explore the Nordic countries, with an emphasis on the Scandinavian economy. They review the Happiness Report 2016 (prepared for the United Nations) and note that the Nordic countries are among the happiest in the world. They explore Nordic social democracy, and how geography, technology, and immigration play a part in the economy.

To prepare for this experience, you can download the Happiness Report 2016 available at World Happiness Report.

Objectives:

  • Evaluate Scandinavia’s cradle-to-grave system, and describe its economy and how geography affects the economy.
  • Explain the impact of technology and immigration on life in Northern Europe.


Northern Europe has traditionally included Iceland, Finland, and the three Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. These five countries are often referred to together as the Nordic countries. In this experience, you will learn about two economic aspects that stand out, especially for the Scandinavian countries: the social welfare system and the role of technology in the economy.

Objectives:

  • Evaluate Scandinavia’s cradle-to-grave system, and describe its economy and how geography affects the economy.
  • Explain the impact of technology and immigration on life in Northern Europe.




The Grand Hotel, Stockholm, Sweden


Did you know that the United Nations requested a report to measure global happiness and well-being? They considered residents’ happiness the best measure of a country’s social progress.


What country do you think ranked as the happiest worldwide, based on the responses of its citizens?

Post your answer

View a chart of the fifty “happiest countries” in the world (through 2015). 


Locate the five Nordic countries on the chart: Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. How many of them are in the top ten happiest countries?

A) one
B) two
C) three
D) four
E) five

The Nordics ranked highest on the metrics of real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, generosity, and freedom from corruption.

The only other region with such a high representation is Australia (9) and New Zealand (8). North America also ranks relatively high: United States (13), Canada (6), and Mexico (21).


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