Most scores are based on responses to the following question: "All things considered, how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with your life-as-a-whole now? 1 dissatisfied to10 satisfied" (item code O-SLW/c/sq/n/10/a). Scores of ten nations are based on responses to a somewhat different question: "Suppose the top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder the worst possible life. Where on this ladder do you feel you personally stand at the present time?" The response was rated on a ladder scale ranging from 0 to 10 (item code O-BW/c/sq/l/11/c). We transformed the scores using the information of nations in which both this item and the above question on life-satisfaction had been used in about the same years.
This data is indicative of how much citizens differ in enjoyment of their life-as-a-whole.Life-satisfaction assessed by means of surveys in samples of the general population. Scores may be too low in some countries, due to under sampling of rural and illiteratepopulation. In this ranking the focus is not on the level of happiness in the country, but on inequality in happiness among citizens.Inequality in happiness can be measured by the dispersion of responses to survey-questions. The degree of dispersion can be expressed statistically in the standard deviation and surveys items rated on a 10 step numerical scale are particularly usefull for that purpose. Most scores are based on responses to the following question: "All things considered, how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with your life-as-a-whole now? 1 dissatisfied to10 satisfied".