Central Europe Activ

Income and happiness

According to a survey conducted by TÁRKI in the European Social Survey Bulgarians, Hungarians and Russians are the least happy with their lives among 19 European nations. It looks that income is very strongly related how happy Europeans feel.

Happiness and income in Europe, 2007.The upper map shows how happy people feel in general about their personal lives, while the lower shows the price-purchasing-power adjusted gross domestic product per capita in these countries. (This is the price adjusted income of these nations per head). The chart shows these values relative to the happiest (Denmark) and riches (Norway) in the sample. The values are dotted along a simple line: the richer a country is, the happier are the people. There are a few outliers from this trend: the Poles are happier than their income would suggest, while the people of Germany and France are less happy with their relative high incomes. Norway and (Greek-)Cyprus are very-very rich but don’t get very-very happy after a certain income level. You can analyze the data and the map with Many Eyes in greater detail here.

Relative happiness and income in Europe, 2007.

It is not very suprising that economic prosperity is very important for the European people. The very low income and personal satisfaction of the Bulgarian people is worrying and I think the EU should be very committed to help Bulgaria out of depression. The many times recorded Hungarian pessimism is not reflected in this survey: Hungarians seem to be happy to the extent they are rich in European terms. You can also analyze these data and chart with Many Eyes.

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  1. Dear Friends,

    I am imagining that the following questions are rhetorical ones to many people in the Blogactiv community.

    “Why are politicians and skeptics so willing to risk their future and everyone else’s future on blindly clinging to a course of action that has a high probability of leading to a seriously crippled future? If you even suspect that global warming represents a serious risk to your survival (and we have far more than suspicion these days), why wouldn’t you do everything protect and conserve your planet?”

    It would please me to hear from others; but from my humble perspective the “answers” to these questions are all-too-obvious.

    The leaders in my generation of elders wish to live without having to accept limits to growth of seemingly endless economic globalization, of increasing per capita consumption and skyrocketing human population numbers; our desires are evidently insatiable. We choose to believe anything that is politically convenient, economically expedient and socially agreeable; our way of life is not negotiable. We dare anyone to question our values or behaviors.

    We religiously promote our shared fantasies of endless economic growth and soon to be unsustainable overconsumption, overproduction oand overpopulation activities, and in so doing deny that Earth has limited resources upon which the survival of life as we know it depends.

    My not-so-great generation appears to be doing a disservice to everything and everyone but ourselves. We are the “what’s in it for me?” generation. We demonstrate precious little regard for the maintenance of the integrity of Earth; shallow willingness to actually protect the environment from crippling degradation; lack of serious consideration for the preservation of biodiversity, wilderness, and a good enough future for our children and coming generations; and no appreciation of the understanding that we are no more or less than human beings with “feet of clay.”

    We live idolatrously in a soon to be unsustainable way in our planetary home and are proud of it, thank you very much. Certainly, we will “have our cake and eat it, too.” We will fly around in thousands of private jets, own fleets of cars, live in McMansions, exchange secret handshakes, go to our exclusive clubs and distant hideouts, and risk nothing of value to us. Please do not bother us with the problems of the world. We choose not to hear, see or speak of them. We are the economic powerbrokers, their bought-and-paid-for politicians and the many minions in the mass media. We hold most of the Earth’s wealth and control the power it purchases. If left to our own devices, we will continue in the exercise of our ‘rights’ to ravenously consume Earth’s limited resources; to expand economic globalization unto every corner of our natural world and, guess what, beyond; to encourage the unbridled growth of the human species so that where there are now 6+ billion people, by 2050 we will have 9+ billion members of the human community and, guess what, even more people, perhaps billions more in the distant future, if that is what we desire.

    We are the reigning, self-proclaimed masters of the universe. We have no regard for human limits or Earth’s limitations, thank you very much. We are idolaters of the global political economy. Please understand that we do not want anyone to present us with scientific evidence that we could be living unsustainably in an artificially designed, temporary world of our own making…… a manmade world filling up with distinctly human enterprises which appear to be approaching a point in human history when global consumption, production and propagation activities of the human species become unsustainable on the tiny planet God has blessed us to inhabit……..and not to overwhelm, I suppose.



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