The geography of happiness

July 28, 2008 at 4:42 pm 1 comment

How much is your happiness dependent on what country you live in?

That’s tough to say, but by and large, Americans are pretty happy; in fact, we’re ranked 16th in the world. From Science Daily:

Denmark tops the list of surveyed nations, along with Puerto Rico and Colombia. A dozen other countries, including Ireland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada and Sweden also rank above the United States, which maintains about the same relative position as it did in WVS’s 2000 survey.

“Though by no means the happiest country in the world, from a global perspective the U.S. looks pretty good,” says Ronald Inglehart, a political scientist at the university, who directs the study. “The country is not only prosperous; it ranks relatively high in gender equality, tolerance of ethnic and social diversity and has high levels of political freedom.”

And Richard Florida correctly points out the money quote, by Inglehart: “Ultimately, the most important determinant of happiness is the extent to which people have free choice in how to live their lives.”

Read the article here. HT: Richard Florida

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Entry filed under: Culture, Jon Swerens.

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