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Lifestyle > Life satisfaction: Countries Compared

Author: James <br>Staff editor

Author: James <br>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 DenmarkDenmark 8 2004
2 SwitzerlandSwitzerland 8 2004
3 MaltaMalta 8 2004
4 IrelandIreland 7.8 2004
5 IcelandIceland 7.8 2004
6 LuxembourgLuxembourg 7.6 2004
7 CanadaCanada 7.6 2004
8 NetherlandsNetherlands 7.6 2004
9 FinlandFinland 7.5 2004
10 SwedenSweden 7.5 2004
11 United StatesUnited States 7.4 2004
12 New ZealandNew Zealand 7.4 2004
13 NorwayNorway 7.4 2004
14 AustraliaAustralia 7.3 2004
15 BelgiumBelgium 7.3 2004
16 El SalvadorEl Salvador 7.2 2004
17 United KingdomUnited Kingdom 7.2 2004
18 GermanyGermany 7.1 2004
19 BrazilBrazil 7 2004
High income OECD countries averageHigh income OECD countries average 7 2004
Group of 7 countries (G7) averageGroup of 7 countries (G7) average 7 2004
20 ItalyItaly 6.9 2004
21 SingaporeSingapore 6.9 2004
22 VenezuelaVenezuela 6.8 2004
23 ArgentinaArgentina 6.8 2004
24 Dominican RepublicDominican Rep. 6.8 2004
Eurozone averageEurozone average 6.77 2004
25 PortugalPortugal 6.7 2004
26 IsraelIsrael 6.7 2004
27 UruguayUruguay 6.7 2004
28 TaiwanTaiwan 6.6 2004
29 SpainSpain 6.6 2004
30 FranceFrance 6.6 2004
31 IndonesiaIndonesia 6.6 2004
European Union averageEuropean Union average 6.49 2004
32 PhilippinesPhilippines 6.4 2004
NATO countries averageNATO average 6.32 2004
33 SloveniaSlovenia 6.3 2004
34 JapanJapan 6.2 2004
35 VietnamVietnam 6.1 2004
36 PeruPeru 6 2004
37 IranIran 6 2004
38 CroatiaCroatia 5.9 2004
39 PolandPoland 5.9 2004
40 South KoreaSouth Korea 5.8 2004
41 BangladeshBangladesh 5.7 2004
42 South AfricaSouth Africa 5.6 2004
43 MoroccoMorocco 5.6 2004
44 TurkeyTurkey 5.6 2004
45 SlovakiaSlovakia 5.6 2004
46 HungaryHungary 5.5 2004
47 EstoniaEstonia 5.2 2004
48 UgandaUganda 5.2 2004
49 AlgeriaAlgeria 5.2 2004
50 JordanJordan 5.1 2004
51 Serbia and MontenegroSerbia+ 5.1 2004
52 LithuaniaLithuania 4.9 2004
53 Republic of MacedoniaMacedonia Rep. 4.9 2004
54 AzerbaijanAzerbaijan 4.9 2004
55 LatviaLatvia 4.8 2004
56 EgyptEgypt 4.8 2004
57 RomaniaRomania 4.7 2004
58 AlbaniaAlbania 4.6 2004
59 BulgariaBulgaria 4.5 2004
60 RussiaRussia 4.4 2004
61 AngolaAngola 4.3 2004
62 BelarusBelarus 4.3 2004
63 PakistanPakistan 4.3 2004
64 GeorgiaGeorgia 4.1 2004
65 ArmeniaArmenia 3.7 2004
66 UkraineUkraine 3.6 2004
67 MoldovaMoldova 3.5 2004
68 ZimbabweZimbabwe 3.3 2004
69 TanzaniaTanzania 3.2 2004

Citation

"All countries compared for Lifestyle > Life satisfaction", 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

NationMaster

0

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 <br>Staff editor

James <br>Staff editor

0

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Posted on 17 Jul 2010

FlowersEarlene32

FlowersEarlene32

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