Happiness of Nations - causes

1. Chart from http://wvs.isr.umich.edu/fig.shtml Source: R.Inglehart and H-D. Klingemann, "Genes, Culture and Happiness," MIT Press, 2000.

Countries on top are the happiest, on the right the richest


2. USA Today 12/13/99 reports: Happiness is the American Way

Confidence, not money, makes us smile. That, plus good sex

The 10 happiest countries (out or 22 surveyed)

% below is fraction of citizens saying they are "very happy" overall

49% Denmark

47% Australia

46% USA

44% Venezuela

41% Kuwait

37% India

36% Great Britain

34% Malaysia

30% Mexico

29% Argentina

 The USA is the third happiest country in the world, and Americans are the third happiest with their sex lives, according to a global survey. More than one-fourth (27%) of Americans are very happy with their sex lives, but Venezuela (46%) and Brazil (32%) edge out the USA.

Overall, Americans seem quite blissful. The USA ranks somewhere between first and fourth in eight of the 10 happiness categories, says Tom Miler of Roper Starch Worldwide. Researchers surveyed 22,500 adults in 22 countries.

Denmark is No. 1 overall. The research finds that different factors drive happiness in the USA compared with other countries. Globally, the amount of money you have, the material goods you own and the job you hold are the factors most associated with overall quality of life. "You have to have at least sufficient money to feel good about other things," Miler speculates.

For Americans, the biggest happiness driver is not money but the level of self-confidence. "This trend has been emerging for the better part of the 1990's," Miller says. "We are seeing Americans become more self-reliant, more optimistic. Americans are increasingly feeling good about themselves."

Folks worldwide are content with their personal relationships. The Kuwaitis (70% are very happy), British ((61%), and Australians (60%) are the happiest with family and friends, followed by Argentines (57%), Americans (56%) and Egyptians (56%).

Factors judged to contribute to happiness include relationships, money, self-confidence, the role of religion, job, leisure time, and mastery of technology.

Most unhappy with their quality of live are people in the former Soviet Union, specifically Russia and Ukraine

USA Today source: The Roper Starch "Global Happiness Barometer" is based on 22,500 interviews with a representative sample of respondents ages 18 years and older in 22 countries. Countries included in the study were: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Italy, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Spain, the UK, Ukraine, the United States, and Venezuela.
 Roper Happiness Study details:


% Very Happy                Global Total              Top 3 countries

                                                      (plus US if not

                                                      ranked in top 3)

                                 %                           %


Your relationship 

 with family and friends         40               1. Kuwait       76

                                                  2. UK           61

                                                  3. Australia    60

                                                  5. US           56


Your level of self confidence    27               1. Venezuela    65

                                                  2. Kuwait       61

                                                  3. US           41


The role of religion in

  your life                      23               1. Brazil       50

                                                  2. US           46

                                                     Nigeria      46


Your sex life                    19               1. Venezuela    46

                                                  2. Brazil       32

                                                  3. US           27


The material goods you own       17               1. US           38

                                                  2. Denmark      33

                                                  3. Australia    32


Your job                         15               1. Denmark      39

                                                  2. Kuwait       34

                                                  3. US           28


The amount of leisure time

  you have                       15               1. Denmark      29

                                                  1. Australia    29

                                                  3. UK           26

                                                  6. US           23


Your mastery of technology       11               1. Venezuela    25

                                                  2. Australia    22

                                                  3. India        20

                                                  4. US           19



The amount of money you have      8               1. Denmark      24

                                                  2. Malaysia     19

                                                  3. India        17

                                                  4. US           16


State of country's economy        5               1. Egypt        17

                                                  2. US           14

                                                  3. Malaysia     13


Go to : Wealth alone does not insure happiness - news article

Go to: Nations with happy people attract tourists

Go to : Success of Nations - the causes

Go to: MIT paper on Wealth Equality and Innovation

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