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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How interested are you in politics?

A general trend in the Nordic countries is that interest in politics has increased between the time periods studied. Participants in the study were asked if they felt very interested, quite interested, hardly interested, or not at all interested in politics. While the proportion of people who are very interested in politics has increased in all countries, the proportion of people who said that they are not at all interested in politics fell on the whole in the Nordic Region. Nordic men state they are interested in politics more than do Nordic women. This is evident in all the countries, in both periods studied. Although interest in politics is also greater among those cged 30 and over than among those aged under 30, it is possible to discern an increase in interest among young people in the Nordic Region.

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