The Happy Map

PhysOrg.com reports that a University of Leicester psychologist has produced the first ever ‘world map of happiness’ by performing a meta-analysis of over 100 different studies covering 80,000 subjects worldwide. The study also correlated the data to other indicators, with the top three being (in order): health, wealth and education.

Some other interesting findings:

  • 4 of the 5 Scandinavian countries are in the top 10, and the fifth, Norway, is in the top 20.
  • Islands seem to do very well – 9 of the top 20 are island nations.
  • After decades of political unrest, Ireland was a surprise (to me, at least) at #11.
  • Asia overall didn’t score well, with China #82, Japan #90 and India #125.
  • The countries with the largest populations tended to do badly (China #82, India #125 and Russia #167 out of 178 countries), with the exception of the U.S. at #23.

The question this begs is whether this will just make those of us in the happy countries even more self-assured that “our way is the right way”, or if it will perhaps motivate us to try to do something about the situation in the rest of the world (besides evangelizing “our way” to them).