Don't Worry, Be Happy

State of Democracy in the Nordic Countries

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The Nordic Council of Ministers has analysed data from interviews with residents of the Nordic Region to explore how democratic participation and perceptions of democracy have changed since the beginning of the 2000s. The study shows that although interest in politics has increased in the region since 2002, there is no discernible trend with regard to trust in national parliaments or trust in politicians. Compared with the rest of Europe, those living in the Nordic Region have a high level of trust in the European Parliament. Interest in politics in the region is also greater than in the rest of Europe. This report is authored by the policy analysis unit at the Secretariat to the Nordic Council of Ministers. It forms part of the unit’s report series exploring current key topics from a Nordic perspective.

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Do you trust your country’s parliament?

Participants in the study were asked to what degree they trust their own country's parliament on a scale of O to 10, where no trust at ell is O and complete trust is 10. To make the results clearer, this has been condensed into three categories: O to 4 is considered a low level of trust, 5 is considered a medium level of trust, and 6 to 10 is considered a high level of trust in the country's parliament. The clearest contrast is between Norway and Iceland. The trust of Norwegians in their parliament increased sharply during the period studied, while the proportion of Icelanders who trust their parliament fell. There is no discernible trend among the different age or gender groups.

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