How happy are you?

Ipsos, a Paris-based global market research company, asked 19,000 adults in 24 countries that question. 77% responded that they were happy and that included 22% describing themselves as very happy. Respondents were given a choice between very happy, rather happy, not very happy, or not happy at all.

Interestingly, the Great Recession seems not to have had an impact: results are up 3% from the last time the poll was taken in 2007. Also, one the happiest countries was one of the poorest, Indonesia, where 50% said they were very happy in spite of a GDP per person at a purchasing-power parity of a mere $4,700 per person. India and Mexico both came in with around 42% saying they were very happy, soundly trouncing the USA’s relatively low 28% very happy percentage.

The cavet of course is that happiness levels are self-reported and can mean different things to different people. The same issues arise with with Gallup’s well-being surveys or World Values’ life satisfaction survey.

Nonetheless, the message remains pretty clear: Happiness is an inside job.

Closing quotes:

“Happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them.” — Proverb

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” — Frederick Keonig, German inventor of the high-speed printing press; 1774-1833

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” Oscar Wilde; 1854-1900