Basis of The World Database of Happiness

The World Database is based at the department of Sociology at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Erasmus University Rotterdam and received financial support from the Trust Fund of that university and from the Dutch national science foundation NWO

The project started 1980 and the first product was a voluminous 'Databook of happiness' that was published in 1984. Printed updates appeared in books in 1992, 1993 and 1994. The collection was made available on the web in 1998 and the website has much evolved since. To date (2011) the database covers some 18.000 scientific findings on happiness, of which about 5000 are distributional findings (on how happy people are) and another 13.000 correlational findings (on what goes with more and less happiness).

The database started as a one-man project in 1980. To date (2011) the database is maintained by a team of 28 persons which equals about 6 fulltimers. More than half the team consits of volunteers, most of which are retirees.

The project is non-profit and low-budget. Office and equipment are provided by the department of sociology of Erasmus University Rotterdam. This department also pays the director and an assistant. Additional personal is paid from incidental grants, among which a sizable grant of the Dutch Science Foundation NWO over the years 2003-2011. This is not enough to enter all the available research findings and hence the project depends also on donations. Donations can be made to a special Support Fund for the World Database of Happiness that is administered by Erasmus University's Trustfund and supervised by the Foundation for the Study of Happiness.

The database is hosted at the university library of Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Though based at Erasmus University Rotterdam, the project is open to participants from elsewhere. A more Wiki-like structure is being developped. It is also possible to continue parts of the collection elsewhere. See continuation policy.

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