Topic: World View
Yes, from Reuters via CNN, If you're looking for happiness, move to Denmark.
Odd Data: If You're Looking for Happiness, Move To Denmark
It goes like this
But what about big countries with a sense of collective identity? Does collective identity trump quaintness? No. China comes in on the happiness ranking in 82nd place, Japan at 90th, and India at 125th. Smallness matters.
It's the happiest country in the world while Burundi in Africa is the most unhappy, according to a new report by a British scientist released on Friday.
Adrian White, an analytical social psychologist at the University of Leicester in central England, based his study on data from 178 countries and 100 global studies from the likes of the United Nations and the World Health Organization.
"We're looking much more at whether you are satisfied with your life in general," White told Reuters. "Whether you are satisfied with your situation and environment."
The main factors that affected happiness were health provision, wealth and education, according to White who said his research had produced the "first world map of happiness."
Following behind Denmark came Switzerland, Austria, Iceland and the Bahamas.
At the bottom came the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Burundi. The United States came in at 23rd, Britain was in 41st place, Germany 35th and France 62nd.
Countries involved in conflicts, such as Iraq, were not included.
"Smaller countries tend to be a little happier because there is a stronger sense of collectivism and then you also have the aesthetic qualities of a country," White said.
Of course Adrian White admitted collecting data based on well-being was not an exact science, but he said the measures used were "very reliable in predicting health and welfare outcomes." It seems lots of food and an SUV in every garage doesn't matter much. Oh well.
The University of Leicester press release is here -
But what about just having more stuff than anyone else, even if you're badly educated and don't know much, and you and everyone around you is seriously obese?
Further analysis showed that a nation's level of happiness was most closely associated with health levels (correlation of .62), followed by wealth (.52), and then provision of education (.51).
The three predictor variables of health, wealth and education were also very closely associated with each other, illustrating the interdependence of these factors.
Try this -
Well then, here we do have the stuff, and if you have the money the healthcare is fine (exclude forty-four million Americans who can't afford to pay for healthcare insurance), and although much of public education is disintegrating if you have the funds you can get a pretty good education. Giving that, ranking 23rd seems about right.
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 captia, and access to education were much more likely to report being happy.
The happiness rankings:
5. The Bahamas
13. Costa Rica
15. The Netherlands
16. Antigua and Barbuda
18. New Zealand
20. The Seychelles
90. Japan 125. India
The bottom three:
176. Democratic Republic of the Congo
Note: The photograph was taken at the 900 block of North Highland Avenue, Hollywood, Wednesday, July 26, 2006.