The Science of Happiness
and Well Being?
By Kevin Hogan
Here is how people answered that question from Gallup in a few countries
I selected because of the vast differences of suffering and the stark contrast of what you would expect with what you learn...
In the chart below the average score I'm most interested in is the number on the far right.
The three other scores are based on particularly high or low scores,
given to other questions asked like, "Yesterday, How rested did you feel,"
"Yesterday, were you free from pain?" "Yesterday how intellectually
engaged were you?"
The researchers were trying to figure out what the circumstances of the daily lives of the people they were studying were really like. In one way they paint a fascinating picture of the nations represented.
The Daily Experience self report on average from the following countries
The UK 7.4
The USA 7.3
Here are some countries I've selected.
Thriving Struggling Suffering Daily Experience
Denmark 82 17 1 7.9
Canada 62 36 2 7.6
USA 57 40 3 7.3
UK 54 44 2 7.4
Mexico 52 43 5 7.7
Bahrain 32 45 23 7.0
Russia 21 57 22 7.0
Japan 19 69 12 7.4
Maced. 14 54 32 6.8
Rwanda 3 75 22 7.8
Random people in Rwanda report a better daily experience in life than to American and UK citizens and in fact better than the vast majority of nations!
OK, the big picture:
The top 10 countries in Daily Experience? They averaged about 7.8
The bottom 10 of the 155 countries where the most people experienced
suffering like Bahrian, Russia, Macedonia and Rwanda? The average was 7.0.
Most of the countries that reported 8.0 or higher were among countries
where respondents struggled or suffered the most.
Countries where the average was 8+? Namibia, Mali (Both in Africa), Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand,
Paraguay, Panama, Costa Rica, Venezuala and Iceland.
Ultimately ALL the countries reported an average between
5.0 (Togo) and 8.4 (Panama)
What was interesting was the almost exact reporting of "intellectual
engagement, well rested and lack of pain" between Mexico and the USA
and the USA reported underperforming Mexico in overall Life Satisfaction.
Perhaps immigration is going in the wrong direction...
What do you learn from the data collected by Gallup?
What connections do you see? ...
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Coffee cup photo appears under license with Stockexpert. Article photo appears under license with istockphoto/creisinger.