Global Happiness Report

Majority of Global Citizens (75%) are Happy Despite Gloomy Economic Sentiments
‘Very Happy’ Cohort (20%) Down Two Points Since December 2012

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New York — Global respondents appear to be generally happy – 75% very happy (20%) or somewhat happy (55%) – according to a new poll by global research company Ipsos. This general happiness is contrasted by four in ten (37%) who assess the economy in their country to be good – 5% very good, 32% somewhat good. Even despite this gloomy outlook, seven in ten (70%) of those who assess the economy in their country to be bad also report they are happy.

These findings reflect data gathered as part of the new Global Trends Survey, a study that aims to build a more comprehensive picture of what matters to people globally. The survey has hundreds of questions covering a diverse range of subjects including perceptions of government, our deeper values, views of some of the key challenges facing the world and measures of a wide range of behaviours. Reports on these findings will be released in detail throughout 2014.

Who are the Happiest People?

To determine who might be the ‘happiest people’, special attention is paid to those who report they are ‘very happy.’ The proportion of those who indicate they are ‘very happy’ – rather than only ‘somewhat happy’ – represents a key measure that identifies comparative depth and intensity of happiness among country citizens and the world.

Two in ten (20%) indicate they are very happy, down two points from the same time one year ago (22%). Young people appear happiest on a global aggregate level, as those who are under the age of 35 (24%) are more likely to say they are ‘very happy’ than those who are 35-49 (18%) and 50-64 (16%) across all countries surveyed. Furthermore, socio-economics play a role as those with a high education (24%) and those with a high household income (22%) are among those most likely to be ‘very happy’. Married people (23%) are more likely to be ‘very happy’ than those who are unmarried and there is no statistical difference in happiness across gender (20%).

Regionally, Latin America has the greatest proportion of people saying they are ‘very happy’, with one third (31%) of their population responding this way. North America is next with 25% followed by the Middle East and Africa (23%), Asia Pacific (22%) and Europe (13%).

Nationally, Indonesia scores the happiest out of the 24 countries surveyed with over half (55%) of citizens reporting they are ‘very happy’ followed by India (41%), Mexico (38%), Brazil (33%), South Africa (26%), United States (26%) and Canada (24%). On the other end, South Korea (6%), Hungary (8%), Italy (9%) and China (10%) have the lowest number of ‘very happy’ people, followed by France (11%), Germany (11%) and Russia (11%).

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Happiness Despite Economic Gloom

Global happiness overall, with 75% saying they are at least somewhat happy, reflect three quarters of the global aggregate while only 37% who assess the economy in their country to be good – 5% very good, 32% somewhat good. Indeed, seven in ten (70%) of those in 19 countries who assess their national economy to be bad still report they are happy.

Still, economic confidence correlates positively to happiness overall. The gaps between the happiness levels of those who rate their national economies to be good versus those who rate it to be bad is substantial. Globally, the gap is 19 points as 89% of those who say the economy is good also say they are happy while 70% of those who say the economy is bad say they are happy. The gap is largest in Spain (37 points), Germany (27pts), South Korea (27pts), Great Britain (25pts) and Poland (22pts). It is smallest in South Africa (10pts), Brazil (11pts), Canada (15pts), Russia (15pts), France (15pts) and the United States (16pts).

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These are findings of the research conducted by global research company Ipsos. The research was conducted on the “G@52”wave between December 4-18, 2013. For the happiness and economic crosstabulations, data from the “G@49” wave, fielded between September 3-17, 2013, was used. The monthly Global @dvisor data output is derived from a balanced online sample in 24 countries around the world via the Ipsos Online Panel system. For the results of the survey presented herein, an international sample of 18,153 in 24 countries in December, and 9,500 in 19 countries in September, adults aged 18-64 in the US and Canada, and age 16-64 in all other countries, were interviewed. Approximately 1000+ individuals participated on a country by country basis via the Ipsos Online Panel with the exception of Argentina, Belgium, Hungary, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Turkey, where each have a sample approximately 500+. In September data, all G@ countries were included except: China, Indonesia, Hungary, Mexico and Saudi Arabia. The precision of Ipsos online polls are calculated using a credibility interval. In this case, a poll of 1,000 is accurate to +/- 3.5 percentage points and one of 500 is accurate to +/- 5.0 percentage points in their respective general populations. In countries where internet penetration is approximately 60% or higher the data output is weighted to reflect the general population. Of the 24 countries surveyed, 15 yield results that are representative: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States. The nine remaining countries surveyed –Brazil (45.6% Internet penetration among the citizenry), China (41%), India (11.4%), Indonesia (22.1%), Mexico (36.5%), Russia (47.7%), South Africa (17.4%) and Turkey (45.7%)—have lower levels of connectivity therefore cannot be weighted to be general population representative; however, the online sample in these countries are particularly valuable in their own right as they are more urban/educated/income than their fellow citizens and are often referred to as “Upper Deck Consumer Citizens”.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Julia Clark
Vice President
Ipsos Public Affairs

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company.

With offices in 85 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,789 billion (2.300 billion USD) in 2012.

Visit to learn more about Ipsos’ offerings and capabilities.

Global Happiness Report


Julia Clark
Senior Vice President, US
Ipsos Public Affairs