Eric Weiner: Why Iceland is STILL happy

Despite the economic crisis, author Eric Weiner still defends an assertion in his recent award winning bestseller, Geography of Bliss, that Iceland is one of the happiest places on earth.

Given that the country has gone bankrupt can that still be true?

(Cue banker joke: What is the capital of Iceland? Answer: $3.75)

True to his contrarian and cantankerous self, Weiner claims his assertion is even more true now. It turns out that Icelandic people get happy by being unhappy (or something like that).

Are you Icelandic? Do you agree?

Leave a Reply


  1. Yeah, he's just about got it right there, Tom. Here in Iceland there is spiralling unemployment and people have almost entirely stopped buying cars and flatscreens……BUT I've noticed barely any reduction in people out partying, eating in (cheaper) restaurants and going to the cinema, art galleries or theatres.

    Last October we were scared and depressed – now we're just looking forward to the spring and summer like in any other year. Hopefully it'll be a good summer, because we'll be holidaying at home this summer for a change!!!

  2. Typical Icelander

    Umm… this is a very simplified version. I am Icelandic and yes, things are pretty bad here now – but the element of Icelanders is this; We never give up. Never, Simple, but true.
    Consider what we have accomplished. We are only 320.000 (yes, threehundredandtwentythousend people), we have a Parliament that goes back to the year 900, Christianity adopted before year 1000, we have been traveling to Europe and America since then, we have had Black Death twice, killing half of the population each time (1402–1404 and 1494–1495). During the last quarter of the 19th century many Icelanders emigrated to North America and Canada, in search of better living conditions. About 15,000 out of a total population of 70,000 left at that time. We have had infertile soil, volcanic eruptions, and an unforgiving climate for all this time – but still we never give up. Over the last century or so, we have had British and American troops occupied the country, violating Icelandic neutrality (during the World War II). The 1970s we had the Cod Wars – disputes with the United Kingdom over Iceland's extension of its fishing limits. We won them all, and we don´t have an army.
    You see – our will to survife is in our genes. We haven´t surrendered to any of the listed above – and we sure as hell are not going to let the financial crisis destroy us. Yes, things are bad for now, but we have seen worse.

  3. Gunnar

    Jes we are very happy of curse.
    Crisis are to learn from it and we will learn a lot, We learn were true friends are. We produce 2,5 million tons of food and eat 30 thousand tons of it, rest for export.
    we produce 15 times more green energy than we use for households, rest we export in form of aluminum.
    It is maybe difficult now but the bank sector of the economy had to go and start from scratch in new way . We are taking hit right now and will be the first on our feed.
    Be Happy

  4. Egill Atlason

    Never give up, never surrender at any cost. Always hold your head up high and admit to your faults before counting your blessings. Then you will see that you are unable to count them all and thus a life of happiness will always be yours.

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  6. hlitl

    Iceland is under attack !!!
    See the actual video.

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