AVERAGE HAPPINESS IN 95 NATIONS 1995-2005
How much people enjoy their life-as-a-whole on scale 0 to 10

Top/bottom

Full list

Technical details

Cite as

Top/bottom

Top

> 7,7

Middle range

6,0

Bottom

<4
 

Denmark

8,2

Phillipines

6,4

Armenia

3,7

Switzerland

8,1

India

6,2

Ukraine

3,6

Austria

8,0

Iran

6,0

Modova

3,5

Iceland

7,8

Poland

5,9

Zimbabwe

3,3

Finland

7,7

South Korea

5,8

Tanzania

3,2

Full list, alphabetic

nation1

 

Satisfaction with life 2, 3
(scale 0 - 10)

Number of surveys

 

Rank

 

Albania 4,4

2

84-86
Algeria 5,2

1

67-70
Angola (4) 4,4

1

84-86

Argentina

6,8

2

29-33

Armenia

3,7

1

91

Australia

7,7

14

6-8

Austria

8,0

5

4

Azerbaijan

4,9

1

76-78

Bangladesh

5,7

2

56-60

Belarus

4,0

2

90

Belgium

7,3

3

18

Bolivia (4)

5,8

1

56-57
Bosnia 5,1

2

71-74

Brazil

6,8

1

29-33

Britain

7,1

5

22-23

Bulgaria

4,2

3

88

Canada 

7,6

1

9-14

Chile

6,7

2

34-37

China (1)

6,3

2

44

Colombia (5)

8,1

2

2-3

Croatia

5,9

2

54-55
Cyprus

6,9

1

26-28

Czechia

6,4

3

40-43

Denmark

8,2

3

1

Dominican Republic

6,8

1

29-33
Egypt 4,8

1

79-80

El Salvador

7,2

1

19-21

Estonia

5,1

3

71-74

Finland

7,7

4

6-8

France

6,5

6

39

Georgia

4,1

1

89

Germany

7.2

7

19-21
Ghana (4) 4,8 1 79-80

Greece

6,4

3

40-43

Guatemala (4)

7,6

1

9-14

Honduras (4)

7,1

1

22-23

Hungary

5,6

8

61-62

Iceland

7,8

1

5

India

6,2

1

45-46
Indonesia 6,6

1

38
Iran 6,0

1

51-53
Iraq 4,7 1 81-82

Ireland

7,6

3

9-14
Israel 6,7

2

34-37

Italy 

6,9

3

26-28
Ivory Coast (4) 5,7

1

58-60

Japan 

6,2

2

45-46
Jordan 5,2

1

67-70
Kenya (4) 5,2

1

67-70
Kuwait (4) 7,0 1 24-25
Kyrgezigstan 6,1 1 49-50

Latvia 

4,7

3

81-82
Lebanon (4) 5,3

1

66

Lithuania

4,6

3

83

Luxembourg

7,6

3

9-14

Macedonia

4,9

2

76-78
Mali (4) 4,9

1

76-78
Malta 7.5

2

15-16

Mexico

7,6

2

9-14

Moldova

3,5

2

93
Montenegro 5,5

2

63-65
Morocco 5,6

1

61-62

Netherlands

7,5

3

15-16
New Zealand 7,2

2

19-21

Nigeria

6,4

2

40-43

Norway

7,6

2

9-14
Pakistan 4,3

1

87

Peru

6,0

2

51-53

Philippines

6,4

2

40-43

Poland

5,9

4

54-55

Portugal

6,0

3

51-53

Romania

5,0

4

75

Russia

4,4

13

84-86
Saudi Arabia 7,0 1 24-25
Senegal (4) 5,7

1

58-60
Serbia 5,1

2

71-74
Singapore 6,8

1

29-33
Slovakia 5,5

3

63-65
Slovenia 6,7

5

34-37

South-Africa

5,5

3

63-65

South-Korea

5,8

1

56-57

Spain

6,9

5

26-28

Sweden

7,7

6

6-8

Switzerland

8,1

3

2-3
Taiwan 6,2

1

47-48
Tanzania 3,2

1

95

Turkey

5,2

4

67-70
Uganda 5,1

1

71-74

Ukraine

3,6

2

92

Uruguay

6,7

1

34-37

USA

7,4

2

17
Uzbekistan (4)

6,2

1

47-48

Venezuela

6,8

2

29-33
Vietnam 6,1

1

48-50
Zimbabwe 3,3

1

94

Technical details

  1. Life-satisfaction is assessed by means of surveys in general population samples. Mean scores may be inflated in some countries, due to under sampling of rural and illiterate population. There are indications of such sampling bias in at least some surveys in the following countries: China, Colombia and Nigeria. This distortion is partly corrected by weighting afterwards, but may still affect the scores. This means that the real differences in  life-satisfaction are probably somewhat greater than appears in these data.

  2. Data from 1995 up to and including 2005. If the below mentioned questions had been used more than once in this era, the average score is used.

  3. The scores are based on responses to a question about satisfaction with life, the answers to which were rated on a numerical scale ranging from 'dissatisfied' to 'satisfied'.  The questions differ slightly in wording and answer format. Most questions are type O-SLW/c/sq/n/10/a, next there are questions type O-Slu/c/sq/n/10/b and O-SLW/c/sq/n/11/c. This classification is explained in section 4/3 of the introductory text. Data were taken from the tables 122C and 122D from this database. Rating scales ranged from 1 to 10 or from 0 to 10. Scores on this 1-10 scale were transformed linearly to range 0-10. This transformation in explained in the introductory text, chapter 7.3.

  4. Scores of eleven 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. There are 33 such cases and the scores on the two items appears to be highly correlated: r = +.85. We computed the regression equation and used these to estimate the score on 0-10 life-satisfaction. The formula is: Estimated 0-10 life satisfaction = 0.031 + 1.0 x observed score on the Best-Worst item. These estimates are reported in this table. The 95% confidence interval around these estimated values is about 3 points, which means that these estimates are quite rough. The original means on the Best Worst item were: Angola, 4,04; Bolivia, 5,47; Ghana, 4,48; Guatemala, 7,33; Honduras, 6,83; Ivory Coast, 5,42; Kenya, 4,86; Kuwait, 6,67; Libanon, 4,99; Mali, 4,55; Senegal, 5,34 and Uzbekistan 5,91.
    This estimation technique is described in more detail in the Introductory Text, chapter 7 'Comparability of the data' in section 7/3.1 'Converting scores on measures of different happiness variants'.

  5. Some scores on this 10-step life satisfaction item are not beyond doubt and can better not be included in analyses with these data.

  6. Our policy is to report doubtfull data, unless we can be pretty sure that they are wrong. Thus we avoid deleting data that do not fit our expectations.

  7. On this list the following cases are left out: Puerto Rico (8,1), East Germany (7.3 in 1999) West Germany (7,8 in 1999) and Northern Ireland (7.7). These cases are included in the Catalog of Happiness in Nations but are no real 'nations'

  8.  The use for these data for estimating livability of nations is discussed in the Introductory Text to this section on 'Distributional Findings in Nations', chapter 5: Validity of happiness as an indicator of livability'

  9.  This list is included in the datafile 'States of nations' as variable LSBW_00s.

Cite as:
Veenhoven, R., Average happiness in 95 nations 1995-2005, World Database of Happiness, RankReport 2006-1d, Internet: worlddatabaseofhappiness.eur.nl