- Published on Thursday, 29 March 2012 06:57
- Written by John Draper
- Hits: 1729
There are all kinds of theories as to what makes a person happy - or what changes their happiness quotient. Is it money, religion, climate, politics or what? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. But a study of happiness by country suggests that it's none of these. For example, you'd think that South Korea would rate highly because it's growing fast and people have increasing wealth on a fast growth curve. Yet they are near the bottom. You'd think that secular, sunny, prosperous Australia would do well - they do OK but Indonesia does much better. Perhaps it was the question that Ipsos Reid asked. Taking all things together, would you say you are very happy, rather happy, not very happy or not happy at all?'. The quoted results are of those answering "very happy" - maybe some countries have a cultural preference to avoid extremes like "very".
Another finding was that the recent financial crisis has in fact lowered happiness in many countries affected but not others. There may be errors in the poll - about 1000 were interviewed in most countries but some have around 500.
Here is the data.
Conclusion? If you look at the happiness of countries as a whole, you can't predict what makes people happy . It's not the main religion, it's not how secular or religious they are and it's certainly not how wealthy the average person is.