Economic Inequality Correlates with Unhappiness

The recent update to the World Happiness Report finds that inequality correlates with unhappiness. This is among other findings regarding happiness analyzed in the full report.

Here are some findings from the Report regarding happiness, published an article appearing in The New York Times:

The report found that inequality was strongly associated with unhappiness — a stark finding for rich countries like the United States, where rising disparities in income, wealth, health and well-being have fueled political discontent.

Denmark topped the list in the first report, in 2012, and again in 2013, but it was displaced by Switzerland last year. In this year’s ranking, Denmark was back at No. 1, followed by Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden. Most are fairly homogeneous nations with strong social safety nets.

At the bottom of the list of more than 150 countries was Burundi, where a violent political crisis broke out last year. Burundi was preceded by Syria, Togo, Afghanistan, Benin, Rwanda, Guinea, Liberia, Tanzania and Madagascar. All of those nations are poor, and many have been destabilized by war, disease or both.

Of the world’s most populous nations, China came in at No. 83, India at No. 118, the United States at No. 13, Indonesia at No. 79, Brazil at No. 17, Pakistan at No. 92, Nigeria at No. 103, Bangladesh at No. 110, Russia at No. 56, Japan at No. 53 and Mexico at No. 21. The United States rose two spots, from No. 15 in 2015.

From 2005 to 2015, Greece saw the largest drop in happiness of any country, a reflection of the economic crisis that began there in 2007.

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