- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Poll finds joy on rise in majority of nations
Score one for the smiley face guy.
The world is getting happier, according to the cumbersome but compelling World Values Survey released Monday by the National Science Foundation, which managed to track and quantify joy among 350,000 people in 97 countries over a quarter of century.
“The happiness index rose in an overwhelming majority of nations studied,” the study said.
“It’s a surprising finding,” said Ronald Inglehart, a University of Michigan political scientist who led the research.
Denmark is at the top of the list - with India, Ireland, Mexico and South Korea experiencing a “steeply rising” level of happiness in the survey that asked respondents to succinctly rate their subjective sense of well-being and life satisfaction.
Everyone was apparently happy to do so. The survey had an “exceptionally high” 97 percent response rate.
Zimbabwe, meanwhile, is in last place. Things aren’t so jovial in Armenia, Pakistan and Rwanda - among the last 19 nations on the roster. For them, national contentment flagged into the statistically negative zone.
Americans are in the comfortably warm and fuzzy upper levels. The U.S. ranked No. 16, behind Canada, Sweden, El Salvador and New Zealand but in front of Britain, Germany, France and Italy.
“Though by no means [the] happiest country in the world, from a global perspective, the U.S. looks pretty good,” Mr. Inglehart observed.
The happiest of the Middle Eastern countries is Saudi Arabia, at spot No. 26 - with the Iraqis the unhappiest, at 91. Israel is happier than Jordan, while Iranians are happier than Egyptians.
Elsewhere, Vietnam is more cheerful the Philippines, Russia more jovial than Georgia and Bosnians happier - by a little - than Croatians.
Some of the findings are a curious proof, perhaps, that the findings measured long-term trends rather than the troublesome issues du jour. For example, despite its inner political travails, Colombia is third on the list. Things must be fairly suitable in Guatemala as well, which is right behind the U.S. at No. 17. The promise of the Olympics notwithstanding, China languishes at No. 54, however.
On the whole, things are fairly acceptable around the planet due to consistent economic growth plus increased social tolerance and democratization over the study period, which stretched from 1981 to 2007.
America’s relatively newfound turmoil over terrorism, gasoline prices, the war in Iraq and economic uncertainties in recent years have taken a toll.
About the Author
- Inside the Beltway: Tea party brews straw poll
- Inside the Beltway: Pricey health care doesn't guarantee a long life
- Inside the Beltway: 'Guns Save Lives Day'
- Inside the Beltway: Conservatives ponder next 'character assassin'
- Inside the Beltway: Americans think U.S. global prestige is fading, Pew poll shows
Latest Blog Entries
- Americans just say yes: members of Congress should be subject to random drug testing
- 70 percent of Americans say U.S. has lost world respect; 80 percent of GOP, 56 percent of Democrats agree
- For the gift givers arsenal: politically incorrect guides that praise America
- 70 percent of Americans fear another government shutdown in January when the money runs out
- Are you the parent of a girl? Then you're likely a conservative Republican study says
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Obama pleads for peace in strife-torn Central African Republic
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
Crystal Wright is a black conservative woman living in Washington, D.C.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Why can’t humans just be free to be humans?
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow