What is this data file ‘Trends in Nations’?


  • assessing trends of happiness in nations
  • explaining change in happiness in nations over time


  • nations in which the distribution of happiness is assessed by means of general population surveys over a period of at least 20 years and involving at least 10 comparable data points

Coverage at: 1-1-2017

  • since 1946: 1 nation (USA)
  • since 1958: 1 nation (Japan)
  • since 1973: 9 nations (Belgium, Britain (Great), Denmark, France, Germany (West), Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands (EU9)
  • since 1975: 1 nation Australia 
  • since 1981: 1 nation (Greece) 
  • since 1985: 2 nations (Spain, Portugal)
  • since 1990:
  • since 2000:


  • average happiness (mean)
  • inequality of happiness (standard deviation)
  • happy life years (ombination of average happiness and life-expectancy)
  • inequality-adjusted happiness (combination of average and dispersion of happiness)
  • life expectancy (estimate of how long newly borns will live)

Data file

  • the data are stored in an SPSS-file (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences).
    • the file can be used for other statistical programs as well, such as Excell and Stata (Use export option)
    • the name of the file is ‘TrendsInNations’. The version is denoted by a year at the end, e.g. TrendsInNations_2008.sav
    • the latest version is named: TrendInNations_2016.sav. You need SPSS version 20 or higher to use this file. We can also provide the file in Excel.
  • this file is free available on the following conditions
    • you cite this source, see instructions below
    • you add what you additionally gather to the database by sending us a copy of your enlarged data file, please add a text with details about the new variables that we can insert on this site.
    • you send us a copy of the research-report, which will be made available to the field through the Bibliography of Happiness
  • send a request to

Cite as:

Veenhoven, R. (201?) Trends in Nations: Data file to be used for the analysis of trends of happiness in nations, World Database of happiness, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Assessed on (date) at: