What makes people happy? Previous research suggests the “happy person” is young, healthy, well-educated, well-paid, optimistic and extroverted. The same research found the happiest people tend to be religious, married, with high self-esteem and job morale and modest aspirations. It seems your gender and level of intelligence don’t necessarily come into it. Our study looks at a large number of different religious groups across 100 countries – from 1981 to 2014 – using data from the World Value Survey. Our findings suggest that Protestants, Buddhists and Roman Catholics are happier and more satisfied with their lives, compared with other groups. Jews, Hindus, Muslims, and the non-religious were in between, while Orthodox Christians were found to have the lowest happiness and life satisfaction rates. In our research, we found that many factors were positively associated with happiness and life satisfaction. These included being Protestant, female, married and younger (16 to 24 years old). The household’s financial situation also came into it, as did a person’s state of health and freedom of choice.
|Publication status||Published - 12 Mar 2018|
- happiness; life satisfaction; religion; religious differences; culture