Wednesday, July 02, 2008

World is Getting Happier

We're number 16 ... in world happiness. Feel the joy. The United States ranks ahead of more than 80 countries, but below 15 others in happiness levels, according to new World Values Survey data released in the July issue of the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science.

The World Values Survey (WVS) is the work of a global network of social scientists who perform periodic surveys addressing a number of issues. The latest surveys, taken in the United States and in several developing countries, showed increased happiness from 1981 to 2007 in 45 of 52 countries for which substantial time series data was available.

Researchers responsible for the analysis, from the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research (ISR) in Ann Arbor, say the overall rise in reported happiness is due to greater economic growth, democratization and social tolerance.

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.

Earlier research suggests that happiness levels are stable and cannot be lastingly improved; some studies even indicate that happiness is genetically determined to a considerable extent. But the WVS data, which covers 97 nations containing almost 90 percent of the world's population, shows that happiness levels of both individuals and entire societies can change.
The world is getting happier, that makes me happy. :)

Full ranking of countries here

via Science Daily

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