The annual World Happiness Report, which uses global survey data to report how people evaluate their own lives, helps us determine the facts that contribute to happiness. Although happiness is subjective, there are a few variables that the report finds resonate throughout the world: Family, love, purpose and wealth.
Noting that family, love and purpose are difficult to measure, Visual Capitalist decided to crunch the numbers on wealth to see the relationship between wealth and happiness.
Using data from the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Datebook 2021 and the World Bank — in addition to the 2022 World Happiness Report — Visual Capitalist created a chart that compares wealth per adult with happiness scores in each country.
Here are some takeaways:
- Broadly speaking, the world’s poorest countries have the lowest happiness scores, and the richest report being the most happy.
- Globally, the lower-middle income level is where the most variance in happiness occurs.
- While many of the countries follow the more wealth = more happiness trend, there are nuances and outliers, such as:
- In Latin America, people self-report more happiness than the trend between wealth and happiness would predict.
- Many nations in the Middle East report slightly less happiness than levels of wealth would predict.
- Political turmoil, an economic crisis and the devastating explosion in Beirut have resulted in Lebanon scoring far worse than would be expected.
- Hong Kong has seen its happiness score sink over the past decade. Inequality, protests, instability and COVID-19 outbreaks have placed the region in an unusual zone on the chart: rich and unhappy.
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