• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Aalborg is Europe's happiest city
Aalborg's waterfront. Photo: Michael Damsgaard/VisitAalborg

Aalborg is Europe's happiest city

Justin Cremer · 8 Feb 2016, 14:53

Published: 08 Feb 2016 14:53 GMT+01:00

Copenhagen typically runs away with the lion’s share of international praise, whether it’s for being the  world’s greenest city, the best city in the world for cyclists or the most gay-friendly destination, to name just a few of the titles the city has claimed over the years. 
 
But could Denmark’s real gem not its capital but rather the northern industrial city of Aalborg? Its residents would surely say so, as a new study from the European Commission shows that Aalborg is home to the happiest people in all of Europe. 
 
According to the study, a full 72 percent of Aalborg residents are ‘very satisfied’ with their lives while another 24 percent are ‘fairly satisfied’. Those numbers were good enough to top the second ‘most satisfied’ city – which was yes, you guessed it, Copenhagen. In the capital, 67 percent of residents are ‘very satisfied’ and 24 percent are ‘fairly satisfied’. 
 
Aalborgians are also among those who feel the safest in Europe, with 96 percent saying they feel safe in the city. Copenhageners weren’t far behind at 95 percent. In Aalborg, 91 percent of respondents also said that most people in the city could be trusted, putting it behind only Oulu, Finland as Europe’s most trusting city. 
 
With just over 110,000 people, Aalborg is Denmark’s fourth largest city. Aalborg Municipality encompasses some 207,805 people, making it the nation’s third biggest. 
 
Although it’s not as well known outside of Denmark as Copenhagen, Aalborg resident Narcis George Matache told The Local that he fell in love with the city when he came to the University of Aalborg from his native Romania six years ago. 
 
"Even though Aalborg has 200,000 people, it doesn’t feel like it. It has a small-city feel and you can really breath here," he said.
 
Matache said that the city's smaller size also makes it easier to get involved politically, as he has with the group Europaeisk Ungdom Nordjylland.
 
"I ended up staying here because you can really have a lot of influence. It's easy to get involved and there is a very high level of acceptance and inclusion," he said. 
 
With its report on the European Commission study, Aalborg might just start receiving the attention it deserves. Business Insider UK, for example, wrote that despite its low international profile, there are clearly plenty of reasons for Aalborgians to be happy with their city. 
 
Story continues below…
“The industrial city in the north of Denmark isn't exactly world famous, but utilities like a symphony orchestra, a world class university, and a beautiful waterfront make it not surprising that Aalborg's citizens are the most satisfied in Europe,” the website wrote
 
Following Aalborg and Copenhagen as the five most satisfied cities in Europe were Reykjavik, Zurich and Graz.
 
The European Commission’s full ‘Quality of Life in European Cities’ study can be found here.
 

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Justin Cremer (justin.cremer@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Danish students and caps: What’s all the noise about?
Thousands of young students have taken to the streets of Denmark wearing their caps. Photo: Knud Erik Christensen/Colourbox

During the month of June, Danish towns are overtaken by jubilant young adults wearing assorted styles of graduation caps (studenterhuer). The Local brings you a guide to what the caps mean, their history and significance to the class of 2016.

Photo gallery
Devil horns up! A photo journey through Copenhell
Copenhell was completely sold out for the first time ever. Photo: Philip B. Hansen

The Local joined the headbanging masses at this year's Copenhell heavy metal festival to bring you this devilish photo report.

Roskilde Festival 2016
From Russia with love: Snowden addresses Roskilde
Snowden's broadcast address was watched by a large and enthusiastic crowd. Photo: Mathias Løvgreen Bojesen/Scanpix

Broadcast live from Moscow, whistleblower Edward Snowden was greeted like a rock star by the festival crowd.

Roskilde Festival 2016
The Local's not-quite-live Roskilde 2016 blog
The Sunday night party at Ghettoblaster. Photo: Bobby Anwar

We'll be on hand all week as a field in Roskilde is temporarily turned in to the fourth largest city in Denmark.

Cage eggs soon to be a thing of the past in Denmark
Cage eggs are laid by hens that never see the light of day. Photo: Vi Ælsker Æg

Denmark’s largest retail company will stop selling eggs laid by cage chickens.

Brexit gives Danes new record cheap home loans
Photo: Mathias Løvgreen Bojesen/Scanpix

With Brexit having created instability on the global financial markets, there has never been a better time to take out a home loan in Denmark.

Roskilde Festival 2016
Finding 'the Orange Feeling' in Roskilde's campgrounds
The camping grounds provide a good mix of planned as well and spontaneous parties. Photo: Bobby Anwar

The main music might not start until Wednesday, but for many guests the campground pre-parties are what Roskilde is all about.

Danish health agency plans for a smoke-free Denmark

Health authorities recommend higher tobacco prices, plain packaging and a national strategy for phasing out smoking.

Danes want legal cannabis, but govt vows crackdown
Police have torn down Pusher Street cannabis stalls three times since June 17th. Each time, they are rebuilt. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Scanpix

A majority of Danes support legalizing cannabis at the same time the government is preparing new hardline initatives.

Danish 'devil of death' nurse gets life for killing patients
Photo: Thomas Lekfeldt/Scanpix

A Danish nurse, dubbed a "devil of death" by prosecutors, was on Friday sentenced to life in prison for murdering three patients and trying to kill a fourth.

Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
International
After Brexit, Danish PM resists calls for similar EU referendum
International
Why Denmark won't try to follow the UK out of the EU
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
National
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
International
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
Society
Sex campaigns lead to Danish baby boom
National
Don't worry Denmark, the world still loves you
Culture
Danish diversity ad a massive social media hit – have you seen it?
National
Denmark scraps green card but spares current holders
Denmark takes historic step for transgender rights
Society
Denmark takes historic step for transgender rights
Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
National
Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
National
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
National
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
Travel
The second best destination in all of Europe is...
Sport
We are the champions! Denmark wins world badminton team title
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
National
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
Society
Strangest political story in Denmark just got stranger
International
Keeping Denmark in Europol 'maybe impossible'
Analysis & Opinion
Green card holders tell Denmark to keep its promise
National
Denmark picks F-35 in historic jet purchase
Society
Denmark to no longer define transgender as mental illness
National
Danish minister tells 'Sharia' troublemakers to 'get a job'
Culture
Danish 'martyr' exhibit reported to police
2,265
jobs available