Swedish citizens have a lot going for them when it comes to their health and quality of life.
A baby smiles from her father's shoulders.
Government policies explicitly promote health, well-being, and a balance between work and home life. Health care is federally funded and managed by local councils. Parents of young children receive hundreds of days of paid leave to care for and spend time with their kids during their formative years. They also receive government allowances to offset the added costs of housing, food, and clothing for their children.
The climate in Sweden is relatively mild, despite the country's northern latitude, and conducive to outdoor activity for much of the year. The landscape is beautiful and inviting, with gently rolling hills, open spaces, glacial lakes, mountains, and forests.
Sweden's culture of physical fitness and government incentives for work/life balance combine to make it one of the healthiest countries on Earth.
And Swedes are passionate about sports, with no fewer than half of the country's nine million citizens participating regularly in athletics. The government even provides financial subsidies to sports associations.
The United Nations ranks Sweden number five in its Human Development Index, which measures a country's overall quality of life. And Swedish citizens can expect to live 80.51 years, fifth highest in the world, and life expectancy continues to rise.
Sweden's national health care system has its faults, with often long wait times for care, particularly non-emergency operations. And parental entitlements are occasionally abused. But on the whole, Sweden's culture of physical fitness and government incentives for work/life balance combine to make it one of the healthiest, most livable countries on Earth.