Don’t worry, be happy

How happiness influences politics.

(Source: Sme)

Data has long shown a correlation between economic growth and the likelihood that a government or politician is reelected. As a generality, strong economies are good for the people in power and weak economies drive vote to someone else. But a major study this month points to an even more important factor: happiness.

The World Happiness Report analyses international data compiled by the American polling agency Gallup. While wealth is a factor in happiness, it is not the only one (a totally separate study in the United States found that happiness peaks at earning $75,000 per year and then declines). Besides wealth, social support, life expectancy, freedom to make choices, generosity, corruption perception, and whether or not people have a dystopian view of the future are major contributors to happiness.

The seven happiest countries in the world are the usual suspects. The top seven are in northern Europe (Finland ranks first). New Zealand, Canada, with Austria round out the top 10. South Sudan, where people rate their happiness as a 2.853 on a scale of one to 10, is the least happy country in the survey.

Read also:Slovaks are less happy than Czechs Read more 

In Central Europe, Czechs are happier than Slovaks (6.852 versus 6.198) and rank 18 spots higher on the list (20th versus 38th). Poland ranks two spots behind Slovakia. Hungarians are much less happy (ranking 62 with a score of 5.758). Contrary to common perception, happiness has risen in Slovakia, Central Europe and the world generally over the past decade.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

When we knelt in honour of Floyd, something inside me broke

Tyrone Chambers, an American opera singer based in Germany, shares what it feels like to be an American living in Europe, watching the BLM movement from across the ocean.

Black Lives Matter protest in Germany

Vietnamese cuisine in Martin, Vienna tram on a stamp

Check out our tips for trips and some good weekend reads.

The third reconstruction stage of Bratislava Castle leads to a rare archaeological discovery on Aug 6, 2020.

Coronavirus in Slovakia: July saw 12 outbreaks in the country

Statistics from the public health offices show young people were the biggest group among the infected.

Illustrative stock photo

All eyes are on Matovič. He is facing a major task

Slovakia needs to make big decisions. Can it become the European tiger again?

PM Igor Matovič in Brussels.