Happiness is relative – but money helps

As some of my readers know, I am a frequent visitor to the website http://www.visualcapitalist.com. It offers a tremendous amount of information in a very easily digestible manner: Smart visualizations. Most recently I have stumbled upon this graphic:

world-happiness-map-2019

I like to be very careful with definitions about such basic terms as “happiness” and especially with the criteria that are going into the scoring system. This is because some things one person may perceive as being essential to one’s happiness, but someone else might see it as completely irrelevant.

This graphic has its origins in the https://worldhappiness.report and you can see for yourself how the gathered data has been evaluated, and ultimately resulted in the given scores.

When looking at this report, I can’t help but notice that the happiest places in the world are also the places with the strongest economic status and specifically GDP per capita. This is by no means an accident.

Fact is that wealth, personal or government’s funds aimed at social purposes can contribute to the happiness of individuals in many ways. If you don’t worry about food, shelter, health, and education, life is becoming simpler. Your worries go away, stress levels go down and the future becomes bright. Even if you might miss some good chances along the way, you might still be doing fine knowing that your children have the same or even better opportunities in the future.

So when people say that money doesn’t buy happiness, I would say that this statement is questionable at least. The wealth that is available for your personal use, whether via your own funds or through the support of your government, will produce, statistically, a higher chance for you to be happy. And it is, therefore, no surprise that the happiest nations in the world tend to be among the richest and socially most engaged.

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