Are We Happy?
In 2019, the global average Happiness Score was 5.4 out of 10. In our study, we discovered that scores tended to be grouped by region and were primarily affected by just a few factors such as the strength of the economy, family and social support, and health/life expectancy. Australia/ New Zealand, North America, and Western Europe, rated higher in these factors and overall happiness (7.3, 7.1, and 6.8 respectively). The U.S. had a Happiness Score of 6.9 and ranked 19 out of 156.
Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia rated lower in these factors and overall happiness (4.3 and 4.5 respectively), particularly due to poor health and poor economies. These scores and rankings did not vary much over the last five years of data, though Africa has seen an improvement in health in 2019. Interestingly, Africa also had residual scores of happiness that were not part of the accounted factors indicating that they may find other sources of happiness despite poor conditions.
About the Data/Future Research
Though happiness may be based on subjective responses, the amount of data collected (approx. 1000 responses per country per year) provides a large enough sample size for a 95% confidence level. As we can see, happiness is affected by external forces such as the economy, family/social support, etc. - and to a lesser degree, trust in the government, individual freedom, etc.
Since the economy, family, and health are strongly correlated with happiness and each another, it would be interesting to explore these relationships more closely. For example, how does economic growth affect family or social life? Does family size affect health or happiness? Future research might also explore the relationships between all of the happiness factors and actual government or social systems, such as subsidized healthcare, political systems, government corruption, etc.