The concept has been distilled in the UK media to stand for cosy homes and hunkering down in front of a roaring fire on a chilly night, and is often accompanied by images of beautiful minimalist Scandinavian homes with sheepskin rugs and warm lighting.
Although the word can actually be used in a variety of contexts and for a range of meanings broadly connected to having a pleasant time in some way, it is this particular interpretation of hygge that set off a wave of hype that culminated in it entering the Oxford English dictionary.
Not content with just styling their homes and wearing woolly socks, it seems many people may have actually opted to make the move to the Danish capital.
The volume of online searches for the phrase “moving to Denmark” increased by 237 percent when the hygge trend took off last year, and a similar trend has begun this year - directly coinciding with colder weather and longer evenings, according to an analysis by international relocations company MoveHub.
“We looked at our own data for the year 2016-2017 and noticed an unusual peak in moves to Denmark occurring during autumn. There was a 237 percent increase in searches for moving to Denmark during the colder months last year, correlating with a huge jump in searches around hygge,” MoveHub’s head of PR and communications Grace Garland told The Local via email.
Graphic: Google trends/MoveHub
“Seeing this trend emerging, we looked further into our own data and found that requests to move to Copenhagen were up a massive 580 percent year on year, an unusual jump which correlates directly with the rise of the Danish trend in the media,” she added.
Expat moves to Copenhagen grew by a staggering 580 percent over 12 months, according to the company’s figures.
“This is not the first time we have seen a trend impact moving. Last year the new series of Game of Thrones triggered an instant rise in requests to move to Iceland where it was shot,” said Emma Leigh Morgan, who oversees the MoveHub.com website.
The analysis is part of MoveHub’s 2017 Global Moving Trends report, which analysed data from over 350,000 moving inquiries between April 1st 2016 and April 1st 2017 to find the most popular destination for expat millennials, families and retirees and assess how global moving trends have evolved year on year.
The data on moves to Denmark comes from that report.