Are Denmark, Norway, and Sweden ‘Socialist’ Nations? NOPE. Here’s the Proof

scandinavian socialism myth

Over the past few years, socialism has gained traction in the U.S. political discourse, primarily due to self-avowed democratic socialists constantly touting the so-called Scandinavian socialist miracle. In reality, the Scandinavian socialist miracle is about as real as Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy.

The Nordic nations that are commonly celebrated as socialist utopias are neither socialist nor utopias. In fact, as a new Policy Brief by The Heartland Institute details (titled “Debunking the Scandinavian Socialism Myth: An Evaluation of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden”), these three countries have mostly free-market economies.


In recent decades, all three of these countries have actually abandoned some of their failed experiments with socialistic policies in favor of reduced regulations, less-comprehensive welfare programs, and several other free-market reforms.

Today, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden are, in many ways, freer than citizens in the United States. Despite talking points spouted by the far Left, the Nordic nations do not have federal minimum wages, job guarantees, or many of the cradle-to-grave entitlement programs progressives and socialists are constantly calling for. On the other hand, these countries do have business-friendly regulatory environments and competitive corporate tax rates—the antithesis of what would exist in a truly socialist economy.

For more information, download the paper for free here, and share widely.

PHOTO: Danish flags. Photo by Håkan Dahlström / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Chris Talgo ([email protected]) is the editorial director and a research fellow at The Heartland Institute, as well as a researcher and contributing editor at