Saturday, July 29, 2006
World Map of Happiness
A world map of happiness prepared by Adrian White, analytic social psychologist at the University of Leicester (U.K.), ranks Denmark as the happiest country and Burundi as the most unhappy of 178 countries.
Switzerland is 2nd, Austria 3rd, Iceland 4th and Bahamas 5th.
Canada is 10th, Ireland 11th, USA 23rd, Germany 35th, UK 41st, Spain 46th, Italy 50th, France 62nd, China 82nd, Japan 90th and India 125th.
According to the study, happiness is found to be closely associated with health, followed by wealth and education
Health is more important than wealth or education. Further analysis was performed to examine the links between satisfaction with life and measures of life expectancy (health), wealth (GDP per capita) and education (access to secondary level education). It was found that satisfaction with life correlated most closely with health, followed by wealth and then education.
Adrian White said “The concept of happiness, or satisfaction with life, is currently a major area of research in economics and psychology, most closely associated with new developments in positive psychology. There is increasing political interest in using measures of happiness as a national indicator in conjunction with measures of wealth."
"The three predictor variables of health, wealth and education were also very closely associated with each other, illustrating the interdependence of these factors."
“There is a belief that capitalism leads to unhappy people. However, when people are asked if they are happy with their lives, people in countries with good healthcare, a higher GDP per capita, and access to education were much more likely to report being happy.”
“The frustrations of modern life, and the anxieties of the age, seem to be much less significant compared to the health, financial and educational needs in other parts of the World."