The Nordic Model refers to the exemplary infrastructure and government of the traditionally “Scandinavian countries” which are usually denominated as Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and sometimes Iceland.
These 4 countries are absolute bastions of culture and society and serve as important social models for the rest of the world. The modern Scandinavian tradition relies upon a heavily decentralized and well funded welfare state that includes free universal healthcare, education, pensions, and a myriad of other public services. Built upon lassez-faire, capitalistic markets, the Nordic countries are actually highly socialistic government models with high transparency. Norway and Denmark are often celebrated not only for their extremely low levels of corruption, but also their high rankings on various scales of Human Development Indices.
Egalitarianism, free trade, strong public programs, strong labor unions, advocation for human rights, a well balanced and constituted legal system, and a vast array of benefits are some of the most notable aspects of the Nordic countries. Much importance and value is given to the individual in Nordic countries. For example, in Sweden the death penalty was permanently banned for all crimes in 1921. In Norway, capital punishment was abolished in 1902. Healthcare in Norway is in most cases entirely complimentary. The average GDP in Nordic countries is much higher than the majority of the developed world, and Norway is consistently shown to have the highest GDP per capita in the world next to Luxembourg. Healthcare insurance in Norway extends to 100% of citizens and residents, including foreign workers, international students, and legal immigrants.
Finland has had the most highly regarded public education system for the past decade. Finnish students have consistently scored higher in science, math, reading, and writing tests than all other students in the world, yet Finnish students spend the fewest number of hours in the classroom in the developed world. Teaching is a highly valued and prestigious career in Finland. Schools are also built on democratic and relaxed values. For example, children at the earliest age have a choice in which supplemental classes they wish to take and are often matched up with teachers that have the greatest rapport. (BBC article here)
Sweden and Norway are home to some of the fastest internet connections in the world. Norway’s average connection speed is faster than 99% of developed countries, and the have been using LTE (3G HPP) high speed mobile phone service since late 2008. Sweden is actually home to the fastest internet connection the world, a groundbreaking speed that far surpasses 100Gbps. Actually, back in 2008, this 75 year old woman used her internet connection to dry her laundry it was so fast.
Notice that Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway all scored within the top 10 least corrupt countries in the world in this 2011 study.
In this study, Norway surpassed all other countries in the world as the “happiest” country on the planet.
The average Nord has a very externalized locus of control.
The education system can be summed up from the University of Oslo’s home website here that simply puts it “Since the University of Oslo is a state university and therefore publicly funded, the students here do not pay tuition fees.”
Sweden, Denmark and Norway share many linguistic similarities and a rich, deep cultural heritage. The Nordic countries are an example for the developed world and an inspiration for the rest. These delightful Scandinavian utopias are almost unbelievably advanced. With purposeful conviction of their worth and identity, the Nordic countries continue to thrive and march forwards a bright future in a blaze of undaunted and persistent progress. Some might conclude that the greatest time, or the golden age, of human existence–the best time to live–was some far away, past time in a forgotten place. But we must look no further than the Nordic countries to deduce that we live in the best time of all human history.