Called World Poll, and conducted by the Gallup organisation, it spans 130 countries, many of which are being polled for the first time. Other surveys are smaller. The respected Global Attitudes Survey of the Pew Research Centre, an offshoot of an American charity, operates annually in just over 50 countries. The World Values Survey run from the University of Michigan is more comprehensive (over 80 countries), but updated only once in five years.Interesting to get another map that ranks countries' happiness. While Bhutan with its Gross National Happiness has been a standout in other such rankings, it doesn't appear to be that high on this one.
Gallup's pollsters asked a standard question: how satisfied are you with your life, on a scale of nought to ten? In all the rich places (America, Europe, Japan, Saudi Arabia), most people say they are happy. In all the poor ones (mainly in Africa), people say they are not. As Angus Deaton of Princeton University puts it, a map of the results looks like an income plot of the world (see map). There are some exceptions: Georgia and Armenia, though not among the world's poorest states, are among the 20 most miserable. Costa Rica and Venezuela, though middle-income countries, are among the 20 happiest. The Brazilians, pictured above, seem a bit more cheerful than their income level justifies.
I believe this survey to be much superior to the World Values Survey as rather than having a 10 point scale, Gallup's poll goes to eleven. This allows people to be one happier (well actually one less happy as it is a 0-10 point scale rather than a 1-10 point scale, but hey who's counting?). :)
I wish I could get a hold of the data to see each country's value rather than just looking at a range, but my extensive search came up with nothing.
The Fly Bottle points out this paper by Angus Deaton that analyzes the results and finds that "average happiness is strongly related to per capita national income, with each doubling of income associated with a near one point increase in life satisfaction on a scale from 0 to 10". I wanted to dig in deeper to the report, but got scared when he defined happiness as:
Who knew that you needed calculus to be able to measure happiness?
via The Economist