Toronto, ON — A new poll conducted by global research company Ipsos for What Makes You Happy Magazine finds that while eight in 10 (77%) citizens in 24 countries generally say they are ‘happy’ in their lives, one quarter (22%) report they are ‘very happy’—a key measure that identifies comparative depth and intensity of happiness among country citizens and the world. Whereas the general assessment of happiness tends to remain fairly static over time, the measure of those who are ‘very happy’ has the greatest amount of fluctuation.
The poll of 18,687 adults conducted from November 1st to 15th 2011 also demonstrates that those who are married (26% are ‘very happy’) appear to be the happiest when compared to all other groups, especially those who are not married (18%).
In fact, with measures tracked back to April, 2007, when respondents are asked to consider all things together, despite global financial woes and conflict, the world is apparently a happier place now than it was then when 20% reported they were ‘very happy’—two points back of where the world average is now.
Who are the Happiest People?
Apart from married people, demographically there is no statistical difference in happiness across gender (22%) but those who are under the age of 35 (25%) are more likely to say thet are ‘very happy’ than those who are 35-49 (20%) and 50-64 (19%) across all countries surveyed. Socio-economics play a role as those with a high education (25%) and those with a high household income (24%) are among those most likely to be ‘very happy’.
Regionally, Latin America has the greatest proportion of people saying they are ‘very happy’, with one third (32%) of their population responding this way. North America is next with 27% followed by Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and Africa tied (24%).
It is citizens in Europe who drag the global average assessment of happiness downward as only one in six (15%) say they are ‘very happy’. Nationally, Indonesia scores the happiest out of the 24 countries surveyed with just over half (51%) of citizens reporting they are ‘very happy’ followed by India and Mexico at 43% each Brazil and Turkey tied at 30% each and Australia and the United States each at 28%. On the other end, Hungary (6%), South Korea (7%) and Russia (8%) have the lowest number of ‘very happy’ people, followed by Spain (11%) and Italy (13%).
Ipsos began tracking happiness in the 24 countries in 2007 conducting it twice annually until March 2010 when the survey became monthly. Examining the timeframe between April 2007 and October 2011 invites the question: are we happier now than we were then?
Overall, the world is a happier place -- on an aggregate basis of the 24 countries, 20% of the global population reported being "very happy" in 2007 compared to 22% now. The highest range of world happiness was between March and April 2010 when the number was at its highest point of 26%. No doubt, there are numerous events and happenings that can cause happiness to go up and down -- and that's evident over the many months that the happiness measures have been tracked.