Recent stats from a 4 year study:

Two types of ratings, one a percentage based on a number of scores in a survey about conditions in your life. And a second score, out of 10, by participants subjectively rating there level of happiness in everyday life.

Scandinavian countries came way ahead in the first rating system, with the US joint 14th. In the second rating, the US dropped below the top 50.


"The Gallup study showed that while income undoubtedly influenced happiness, it did so for a particular kind of well-being--the kind one feels when reflecting on his or her own successes and prospects for the future. Day-to-day happiness is more likely to be associated with how well one's psychological and social needs are being met, and that's harder to achieve with a paycheck.

Take Costa Rica. The sixth-happiest country in the world, and the happiest country in the Americas, it beat out richer countries like the United States. That's because social networks in Costa Rica are tight, allowing individuals to feel happy with their lot, regardless of financial success."


"think about what would make you really, really happy. More money? Wrong. 2.5 smiling, well-adjusted kids? Wrong again. Now think about what would make you most unhappy: losing your sight or a bad back? No, the bad back. The fact is, we are terrible at predicting the source of joy. (Sex is the big exception, but you get the point.) And whatever choices we do make, we likely later decide it was all for the best." -


What in your life do you feel has the most influence on how happy you are?



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Getting old and shedding responsibilities, getting a good anti-depressant after 45 years of hell, having a wonderful wife and fine grown children. Being myself--a stand-up atheist since 1954 and a well-read skeptic and mocker of authority.

These make me happy.

I think it was Santayana who observed, however, that our goal should not be happiness, but usefulness, and I feel happiest when being usefulest.




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