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Lifestyle > Life satisfaction: Countries Compared

James, Staff editor

Author: James, Staff editor

The satisfaction people feel with their life tends to follow the wealth of the countries they live in - the developed world is at the top of the list while the developing world is at the bottom. This is explained by a survey of Life Satisfaction in Europe (PDF), which found that people every where required pretty much the same things to be satisfied with their life. "The dominant concerns in all countries are found to be making a living (having an income), enjoying a satisfactory family life, and having good health, and these are the concerns that ordinarily determine people’s satisfaction". The survey found that new entrants to the European Union (which tended to be less developed) also rated children as very important for a satisfactory life, while older members of the European Union were otherwise.


There is no apparent connection between how satisfied people are and how happy they are. Only four of the countries are present in the top 10 of Very Happy countries, with Switzerland falling from most satisfied country to tenth in the "Very Happy" list, while Canada drops from eigth to fifteenth and Finland plummets from ninth to twentyninth. However, satisfied people are less likely to say they are very unhappy, and six of the countries in the top 10 for Life Satisfaction are present in the top 10 of Net Happiness, and Iceland, Ireland and the Netherlands are distinguished by being near the top of both Life Satisfaction and Very Happy countries, and in the same order.

DEFINITION: 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.

CONTENTS

# COUNTRY AMOUNT DATE GRAPH
=1 Denmark 8 2004
=1 Switzerland 8 2004
=1 Malta 8 2004
=4 Ireland 7.8 2004
=4 Iceland 7.8 2004
=6 Luxembourg 7.6 2004
=6 Canada 7.6 2004
=6 Netherlands 7.6 2004
=9 Finland 7.5 2004
=9 Sweden 7.5 2004
=11 United States 7.4 2004
=11 New Zealand 7.4 2004
=11 Norway 7.4 2004
=14 Australia 7.3 2004
=14 Belgium 7.3 2004
=16 El Salvador 7.2 2004
=16 United Kingdom 7.2 2004
18 Germany 7.1 2004
19 Brazil 7 2004
Group of 7 countries (G7) average (profile) 7 2004
High income OECD countries average (profile) 7 2004
=20 Italy 6.9 2004
=20 Singapore 6.9 2004
=22 Venezuela 6.8 2004
=22 Argentina 6.8 2004
=22 Dominican Republic 6.8 2004
Eurozone average (profile) 6.77 2004
=25 Portugal 6.7 2004
=25 Israel 6.7 2004
=25 Uruguay 6.7 2004
=28 Taiwan 6.6 2004
=28 Spain 6.6 2004
=28 France 6.6 2004
=28 Indonesia 6.6 2004
European Union average (profile) 6.49 2004
32 Philippines 6.4 2004
NATO countries average (profile) 6.32 2004
33 Slovenia 6.3 2004
34 Japan 6.2 2004
35 Vietnam 6.1 2004
=36 Peru 6 2004
=36 Iran 6 2004
=38 Croatia 5.9 2004
=38 Poland 5.9 2004
40 South Korea 5.8 2004
41 Bangladesh 5.7 2004
=42 South Africa 5.6 2004
=42 Morocco 5.6 2004
=42 Turkey 5.6 2004
=42 Slovakia 5.6 2004
46 Hungary 5.5 2004
=47 Estonia 5.2 2004
=47 Uganda 5.2 2004
=47 Algeria 5.2 2004
=50 Jordan 5.1 2004
=50 Serbia and Montenegro 5.1 2004
=52 Lithuania 4.9 2004
=52 Republic of Macedonia 4.9 2004
=52 Azerbaijan 4.9 2004
=55 Latvia 4.8 2004
=55 Egypt 4.8 2004
57 Romania 4.7 2004
58 Albania 4.6 2004
59 Bulgaria 4.5 2004
60 Russia 4.4 2004
=61 Angola 4.3 2004
=61 Belarus 4.3 2004
=61 Pakistan 4.3 2004
64 Georgia 4.1 2004
65 Armenia 3.7 2004
66 Ukraine 3.6 2004
67 Moldova 3.5 2004
68 Zimbabwe 3.3 2004
69 Tanzania 3.2 2004

Citation

"Countries Compared by Lifestyle > Life satisfaction. International Statistics at NationMaster.com", World Database of Happiness, Happiness in Nations, Rank Report 2004/1  Average happiness in 90 nations 1990-2000. Aggregates compiled by NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Lifestyle/Life-satisfaction

Lifestyle > Life satisfaction: Countries Compared Map

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Interesting observations about Lifestyle > Life satisfaction

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The satisfaction people feel with their life tends to follow the wealth of the countries they live in - the developed world is at the top of the list while the developing world is at the bottom. This is explained by a survey of Life Satisfaction in Europe (PDF), which found that people every where required pretty much the same things to be satisfied with their life. "The dominant concerns in all countries are found to be making a living (having an income), enjoying a satisfactory family life, and having good health, and these are the concerns that ordinarily determine people’s satisfaction". The survey found that new entrants to the European Union (which tended to be less developed) also rated children as very important for a satisfactory life, while older members of the European Union were otherwise.


There is no apparent connection between how satisfied people are and how happy they are. Only four of the countries are present in the top 10 of Very Happy countries, with Switzerland falling from most satisfied country to tenth in the "Very Happy" list, while Canada drops from eigth to fifteenth and Finland plummets from ninth to twentyninth. However, satisfied people are less likely to say they are very unhappy, and six of the countries in the top 10 for Life Satisfaction are present in the top 10 of Net Happiness, and Iceland, Ireland and the Netherlands are distinguished by being near the top of both Life Satisfaction and Very Happy countries, and in the same order.

Posted on 11 Mar 2005

James, Staff editor

James, Staff editor

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Posted on 17 Jul 2010

FlowersEarlene32

FlowersEarlene32

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