On March 25, Gallup, a worldwide statistical research organization, revealed their global survey results on wellbeing taken in 155 nations between 2005-2009.
The survey was conducted with interviews, in person and on the phone, and ranked participants as 'thriving, struggling or suffering' based on the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale.
Here are the questions that were used for the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale:
- The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you.
- On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time? (ladder-present)
- On which step do you think you will stand about five years from now? (ladder-future)
For the survey each of the terms were defined as follows:
Thriving wellbeing: strong, consistent, and progressing with a life situation (7+) and positive views of the next five years (8+), plus significantly fewer comments of health problems, fewer sick days, less worry, stress, sadness, anger, and more happiness, enjoyment, interest, and respect.
Struggling wellbeing: moderate or inconsistent views of present life situation OR moderate OR negative views of their future; struggling in the present, or expect to struggle in the future, plus more comments of daily stress and worry about money than those "thriving", with more than double the amount of sick days, more likely to smoke, and less likely to eat healthy.
Suffering wellbeing: high risk and have poor ratings of their current life situation (4 or less) AND negative views of the next five years (4 or less), plus more likely to comment on the lack of basic food and shelter, more likely to have physical pain, a lot of stress, worry, sadness, and anger with less access to health insurance and care, and more than double the disease burden, in comparison to those "thriving".
The top results were likened to those from the Happy Planet Index (HPI), an index that measured nations by happiness analyzing life expectancy, life satisfaction and ecological footprint, with Denmark taking the top spot in both well-being and HPI.
Other results showed poverty diminished the ability for individuals to be satisfied with their life. "Africa has the lowest wellbeing; no country in this region has a thriving percentage higher than 25%," reported Gallup. In contrast, the HPI finding most African nations' happiness was similar to the United States; however the life satisfaction data correlated and was used in both indices.
The Gallup results concluded, "Self-reported wellbeing in Europe is lowest in Bulgaria (6%) and highest in Denmark (82%) and Finland (75%). In several of the largest European economies, like France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, wellbeing falls roughly in the middle. Similar disparities are evident in Asia. Thriving is 60% or higher in New Zealand (63%), Israel (62%), and Australia (62%) and 10% or lower in 11 nations. Cambodia rounds out the bottom with 3% "thriving."
To view each of the 155 nations with well-being rankings by continent, go to:
Calculate your HPI at: http://survey.happyplanetindex.org/
Global HPI 2.0 Map: http://www.happyplanetindex.org/explore/global/index.html