Americans are much happier than Germans and French, but less happy than Danes and Swedes, writes Robert J. Samuelson in the Washington Post:
The America of 2007 is far richer than the America of 1977. Life expectancy is 78 years, up from 74 years. Our homes are bigger and crammed with more paraphernalia (microwave ovens, personal computers, flat-panel TVs). But happiness is stuck.The Guardian:
In 1977, 35.7 percent of Americans rated themselves "very happy," 53.2 percent "pretty happy" and 11 percent "not too happy," reports the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. In 2006, the figures are similar: 32.4 percent "very happy," 55.9 percent "pretty happy" and 11.7 percent "not too happy." Likewise, in most advanced countries, self-reported happiness has been flat for decades.
In international comparisons, the United States ranks lower in happiness than some smaller nations (Denmark, Ireland, Sweden) but much higher than many large countries with paternalistic welfare states (France, Germany, Italy). Governments can provide health care. But they cannot outlaw despair or mandate euphoria.
Iceland is the leader in a league table judging the European country best able to give citizens a long and happy life. Estonia comes bottom of the 30-nation survey while the UK lurks below Romania, at number 21 in the chart.A recent survey showed that vacation is a major factor for happiness in Germany, but apparently that does not make Germans happier than Americans. Or: Germans just don't want to admit how happy they are. Displaying happiness seems to be not all that popular in this country (Germany), while it is sort of mandatory to pursue happiness in the US. And you are a loser, if you are not happy...? That's probably an unfair, stereotypical assessment. What do you think, dear readers?
The European Happy Planet Index used carbon efficiency, life satisfaction and life expectancy to rate the countries. The survey, published by the New Economics Foundation and Friends of the Earth, reveals that Europe is now worse at creating well-being than it was 40 years ago.
Atlantic Review on : Those Lazy Europeans
Comparing vacation days in the US and Europe: &quot;Europe heads to beach, Americans head to work,&quot; writes Reuters: Finland, followed by France, offers working people the most statutory vacation, at more than six weeks per year, the report, an intern