The Relationship Between Wealth and Happiness, by Nation
All through historical past, the pursuit of happiness has been a preoccupation of mankind.
After all, we people should not simply content material with measuring our personal happiness, but in addition our happiness in relation to the folks round us—and even different folks around the globe. The annual World Happiness Report, which makes use of international survey information to report how folks consider their very own lives in additional than 150 international locations, helps us do exactly that.
The components that contribute to happiness are as subjective and particular because the billions of people they affect, however there are just a few which have continued to resonate over time. Household. Love. Goal. Wealth. The primary three examples are powerful to measure, however the latter might be analyzed in a data-driven manner.
Does cash actually purchase happiness? Let’s discover out.
Wealth and Happiness
To crunch the numbers, we checked out information from Credit score Suisse, which breaks down the typical wealth per grownup in numerous international locations around the globe.
The desk beneath seems at 146 international locations by their happiness rating and wealth per grownup:
|Nation||Median Wealth per Grownup (US$)||Happiness Rating|
|🇳🇿 New Zealand||171,624||7.2|
|🇺🇸 United States||79,274||7.0|
|🇨🇿 Czech Republic||23,794||6.9|
|🇬🇧 United Kingdom||131,522||6.9|
|🇨🇷 Costa Rica||14,662||6.6|
|🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates||21,613||6.6|
|🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia||15,495||6.5|
|🇸🇻 El Salvador||11,372||6.1|
|🇰🇷 South Korea||89,671||5.9|
|🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina||15,283||5.8|
|🇩🇴 Dominican Republic||22,701||5.7|
|🇭🇰 Hong Kong SAR||173,768||5.4|
|🇿🇦 South Africa||4,523||5.2|
|🇨🇮 Côte d’Ivoire||6,621||5.2|
|🇲🇰 North Macedonia||51,788||5.2|
|🇬🇲 The Gambia||658||5.2|
|🇧🇫 Burkina Faso||622||4.7|
|🇱🇰 Sri Lanka||8,802||4.4|
|🇨🇩 DR Congo||356||4.4|
|🇸🇱 Sierra Leone||370||3.6|
|🇸🇸 South Sudan||2.677||2.9|
Whereas the outcomes do not definitively level to wealth contributing to happiness, there’s a robust correlation throughout the board. Broadly talking, the world’s poorest international locations have the bottom happiness scores, and the richest report being the happiest.
Regional and Nation-Stage Observations
Whereas lots of the international locations comply with an apparent pattern (extra wealth = extra happiness), there are nuances and outliers price exploring.
- In Latin Americafolks self-report extra happiness than the pattern between wealth and happiness would predict.
- On the flip facet, many countries within the Center East report barely much less happiness than ranges of wealth would predict.
- Political turmoil, an financial disaster, and the devastating explosion in Beirut have resulted in Lebanon scoring far worse than can be anticipated. Over the previous decade, the nation’s rating has fallen by practically two full factors.
- Hong Kong has seen its happiness rating sink for years now. Inequality, protests, instability, and now COVID-19 outbreaks have positioned the area in an uncommon zone on the chart: wealthy and sad.
Inspecting Inequality and Happiness
We have appeared on the relationship between wealth and happiness between international locations, however what about inside international locations?
The Gini Coefficient is a device that permits us to do exactly that. This measure seems at revenue distribution throughout a inhabitants, and applies a rating to that inhabitants. Merely put, a rating of 0 can be “excellent equality”, and 1 can be “excellent inequality” (ie a person or group of recipients is receiving the complete revenue distribution).
Mixed with the identical happiness scale as earlier than, that is how international locations form up.
Whereas there isn’t a ironclad conclusion that may be derived from this dataset, there are massive image observations price highlighting.
The 15 International locations With the Highest Earnings Inequality
|International locations with Excessive inequality||Happiness Rating||Gini Rating|
|🇿🇦 South Africa||5.2||0.63|
|🇨🇷 Costa Rica||6.6||0.49|
|🇧🇫 Burkina Faso||4.7||0.47|
First, international locations with decrease revenue inequality are inclined to additionally report extra happiness. The 15 international locations on this dataset with the best inequality (proven above) have a median happiness rating of 1.3 decrease than the 15 international locations with the bottom inequality (proven beneath).
The 15 International locations With the Lowest Earnings Inequality
|International locations with low inequality||Pleased Rating||Gini Rating|
|🇨🇿 Czech Republic||6.9||25.3|
|🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates||6.6||26|
Subsequent, fascinating regional variations emerge.
Regardless of excessive revenue inequality, many Latin American international locations report ranges of happiness just like many much-wealthier European nations.
The Backside Line
Individuals have been looking for understanding on happiness for millennia now, and it is unlikely that slicing and dicing datasets will crack the code. Nonetheless although, very similar to the pursuit of happiness, the pursuit of understanding is human nature.
And, in additional concrete phrases, the extra policymakers and the general public perceive the hyperlink between wealth and happiness, the extra doubtless we are able to form societies that give us a greater probability at residing a contented life.