Technical details to rank-report Average Happiness in nations 2010-2019

  1. Life-satisfaction is assessed by means of surveys in general population samples in nations.
    A typical survey question reads:
    Taking all together, how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?  Please answer by picking a number on the scale below
          0          1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10
    very dissatisfied                                                                                       very satisfied  

  2. Data from 2010 up to and including 2019.
    If the below mentioned questions had been used more than once in this era. the average score is used.

  3. Ten-year averages are used for two reasons:
    – To cover a considerable number of nations. Since data is not available every year for most nations, presentation by one-year periods would leave us with small numbers of mostly western nations.
    – To reduce measurement bias. Random effect on responses in particular to surveys, such as the weather during the interview, will balance in an average of multiple surveys.

  4. The scores are based on responses to a question about satisfaction with life, the answers to which were rated on a numerical scale of at least 10 steps. Questions of this kind are in the core questionnaire of the World Values Survey (measure code O-SLW-c-sq-n-10-a and the European Social Survey (measure code O-SLW-c-sq-n-11-cd).
    These questions differ slightly in wording and answer format and are homogenized as follows:
    – Questions are sorted into equivalent measure types, which procedure is described in section 7/2.3 Equivalent questions of the introductory text to this collection of distributional findings on happiness in nations.
    – Data were taken from the tables for type 10-step numeral Life Satisfaction and the 11-step numeral Life Satisfaction.

  5. Responses to above-mentioned questions on life-satisfaction are available for 96 nations during this period. For 64 nations in which no such questions had been used we estimated average life-satisfaction using scores on two measures of components of happiness.
    – a measure of the affective component of happiness ( A-AB-yd-mq-v-2-fb or A-AB-yd-mq-v-2-tb)
    – a question on the cognitive component of happiness ( C-BW-c-sq-l-11-c).
    Using a set of 115 nations in which all three measure types had been used over the years 2006-2919, we calculated the combination of the two component measures that best predict overall life-satisfaction. This estimation is described in EHERO working paper 2021-3.

  6. The resulting measure is coded: O-SLW-*sqi-nt-11-a

  7. The use for these data for estimating livability of nations is discussed in the Introductory Text to this section on ‘Distributional Findings in Nations’, chapter 5: Validity of happiness as an indicator of livability

  8. This list is included in the data file ‘States of nations‘ as variable HappinessLSBW10.11_PlusImputations_2010s.

Rank report Average Happiness in Nations 2010-2019

Earlier rank reports of average happiness in nations

Overview of technical details to rank reports of happiness in nations