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October 09, 2007

FIRST WORLD MAP of HAPPINESS: GET ON THE MAP!

Check out first world Map of Happiness. Here's another article about the mapping of the quality of life, and here's a link to the questionnaire itself, in case you're interested.

How Happy is the World Today - Click here to find out.

Take the unhappy planet index survey

From Men's Health where there's tons of useful stuff comes this article and survey (the last page) about global happiness.

You might want to compare these surveys and their results with this data from the Material World research. This data is part of Nova's WORLD in the BALANCE ongoing investigation.

By the way, I took the unhappy planet index survey, and these were my results:

Happy Planet Index
Your personal Happy Planet Index (HPI) is 61.5, which is similar to that of countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala or Saudi Arabia. This is above the world average of 46, but well below the target value of 83, so you can still do more to improve your health and well-being, or reduce your environmental impact. Your score is above that of your country, 28.8.

Below is a breakdown of the various components that make up your HPI score.

You:
61.5
Average:
43.3
[Average is of all online responses to this survey - not the average for your country]


Life Expectancy
Hurray! Your life expectancy is well above average for your gender and country. Probably, you're doing all the major things right - eating well, not smoking, getting regular exercise, and you're lucky enough to have the right genes. Are there any more ways you could make a difference? Some factors that improve your life expectancy are more surprising than others. For example, giving up your car, avoiding living alone, moving out of the city and shrugging off stress.

You:
99
Average:
80.6
[Average is of all online responses to this survey - not the average for your country]


Ecological Footprint
Your ecological footprint is 5.65 global hectares, or 3.14 planets. This is equivalent to the average in Brunei Darussalam.

Your ecological footprint is below average for the country you live in.

Oh dear! You are using between three and five times your share of the planet's resources, even assuming no resources are set aside for other species. That's well above the world average, and even above the average for most industrialised countries. Perhaps it's time to start taking action. Here are some of the most effective steps that everyone can make to reduce their footprint:

Leave your car in the garage. Car use has a huge impact on ecological footprint. Obviously it's more difficult for people in certain circumstances, but where possible, try to use public transport more. Or, even better, get on a bike!
It's obvious, but we have to say it. Conserve energy. Turn off the lights when you leave a room, buy energy-efficient bulbs and appliances, turn off your TV completely, rather than leave it on standby.
Reduce your waste. If there are ways to recycle where you live, try and do so. If you have a garden, start a compost heap. Re-use plastic bags. Give away clothes you don't use, rather than throwing them away. There are hundreds of little things you can do.
You don't have to become vegetarian, but cutting down on meat, particularly beef, and particularly from animals fed by imported soya feed, is an effective step to reducing your footprint.
It has to be said that air travel is one of the biggest contributors to many people's footprints. For example, flying direct from London to Sydney and back would add 5.44 g ha to your footprint - that's the average Briton's footprint for an entire year. Flights with a connection add even more polluting air miles.
You:
5.65
Average:
5.37
[Average is of all online responses to this survey - not the average for your country]


Carbon Footprint
Your carbon footprint is 3.68 global hectares, or 2.04 planets. This is below the average for your country (5.84 gHa).

You:
3.68
Average:
3.12
[Average is of all online responses to this survey - not the average for your country]


Life Satisfaction
Brilliant! You reported a life satisfaction of 9, which is above the national averages for all the countries of the world. At the individual level, in the World Values Survey, only a quarter of respondents worldwide, and 29% of British respondents reported a life satisfaction of 9 or higher.

You:
9
Average:
6.76
[Average is of all online responses to this survey - not the average for your country]


Well-being
The new economics foundation (nef) recognises that there's more to life than feeling good, which is why our model for well-being is based on four domains – personal feelings, personal functionings, social feelings and social functionings. 'Feelings' refers to your attitude to the way you, your future and society are. 'Functionings' looks at whether you have the opportunities to do the things that bring you well-being. Like with life satisfaction, a score of 5 is theoretically the middle score, but, given the way most people respond to surveys, is below average.

Personal Feelings
In this online questionnaire, personal feelings are assessed with two questions – one testing your optimism and one testing your self-esteem.

You are very secure about yourself and about your future.

You:
8.06
Average:
6.05
[Average is of all online responses to this survey - not the average for your country]

Personal Functionings
In this online questionnaire personal functionings are assessed with five questions – two evaluating your subjective opinion on your health and how activity you are, the other three testing you for feelings of autonomy, purpose and worth.

You are healthy, active and full of strong feelings of worth, autonomy and purpose.

You:
7.73
Average:
6.16
[Average is of all online responses to this survey - not the average for your country]

Social Feelings
In this online questionnaire social feelings are assessed with four questions – three assessing your opinion of your community, whilst the last looks at personal relationships.

You have a very strong sense of trust and belonging in your community, combined with an excellent personal life.

You:
6.74
Average:
5.69
[Average is of all online responses to this survey - not the average for your country]

Social Functionings
In this online questionnaire social functionings are assessed with four questions – two assessing your job / studies, one your free time, and one your community participation. If you did not respond to the work / study questions, your score is judged purely on the other two aspects.

You are very satisfied with your job / course - it is very interesting, rarely stressful, and leaves you plenty of time to do the things you want to do, such as participating in community activities.

You:
7.75
Average:
5.6
[Average is of all online responses to this survey - not the average for your country]

_____________________________

[I'll be using some of this data in various poams]

Posted by thyliasm at October 9, 2007 04:42 AM

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Comments

Interesting survey, it seems that I am less happy than the global average. I don't feel that way though, I feel very happy, just not satisfied. I think we confuse the two sometimes, myself included.

The issue that I see with judging people's happiness in this manner is that you are projecting a happiness "rating" on certain factors. One question asked how often I felt stressed. There are different kinds of stress, however, and I can't help but think that it lowers your score in this survey because they think it's a negative emotion.

We judge other people based on how happy we think they should be. This is supported by the fact that many people are surprised to find out that "slum dwellers in Calcutta profess to be content." (Men's Health article) I probably wouldn't be happy if lived in a Calcutta slum, but maybe they wouldn't be happy living here?

Posted by: srmschlg at October 9, 2007 05:18 PM

Makes me think about the following two links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index

http://www.nber.org/digest/jan06/w11416.html

Posted by: eplisner at October 9, 2007 06:03 PM

The Happiness Index was interesting, however, I do not think that quantifying happiness in this way is a valuable enterprise. First of all, the survey methods employed are not scientific. In other words, the sample was not random (it was dependent on access to the internet or "survey distributors" and who is wiling to take the survey), and there are too many variables in happiness to account for in one representative analysis (daily fluctuations in happiness, time of day, the season, etc.) Secondly, the survey was created with American values in mind. Americans tend to value independence, hard work, self-determination, and material goods. Notably, people in nations, such as China, have been found to favor group welfare over individual welfare. Perhaps this led to China's low Happiness Index score in this survey.

Another problem I see with the survey is how useful it might be. Even if the scores are accurate, how might we go about improving the happiness of entire populations? This would be quite a task with many factors. Perhaps there might be more useful indexes to use...Income Index? Education Index? Security Index? Hunger Index?

Posted by: leslieph at October 9, 2007 06:55 PM

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