That’s rather disappointing. We talk a lot about same-sex marriage, which is allowed in more and more countries, but the overall situation is becoming worse.
Sadly the latest data is not very fresh, it’s 2016.
P.S. The word “freeer” is amazing, it has three consecutive letters “e”. Too bad it is not in the dictionary.
What: Human Freedom Index – the difference between regional averages in 2016 and 2008. When: 2008 and 2016 Where: 162 countries grouped into regions Source: The Human Freedom Index 2018: A Global Measurement of Personal, Civil, and Economic Freedom
After comparing the happiness score and Human Freedom Index it could be said that probably yes. The correlation is 63%, so we might say that people in freer countries consider themselves happier.
What: Happiness score from World Happiness Report and Human Freedom Index When: 2016 for Freedom and 2017 for Happiness. Where: 147 countries of the world Source: WHR and The Human Freedom Index 2018: A Global Measurement of Personal, Civil, and Economic Freedom
There is such Human Freedom Index, covering a wide range of areas including freedom of religion, freedom of movement, freedom to trade and many more. After plotting this index against the Democracy Index I saw a super clear relationship: democracy and freedom go together!
What: Human Freedom Index and Democracy Index When: 2016 Where: 157 countries of the world Source: EIU for Democracy Index and Ian Vásquez and Tanja Porčnik, The Human Freedom Index 2018: A Global Measurement of Personal, Civil, and Economic Freedom (Washington: Cato Institute, Fraser Institute, and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, 2018).
Let’s say Human Development Index indicates this “betterness” of life, and the Democracy Index indicates how democratic a country is. Then it is visible, that only democraciest democracies show a positive trend. Countries below score of 6 lose that clear correlation, because some countries managed to provide good living conditions for their citizens without being democratic. Most of them have oil.
What: Human Development Index (HDI) and Democracy Index When: 2017 Where: 165 countries of the world Source: UNDP for HDI and EIU for Democracy Index
Is it Buddhism? IS IT BUDDHISM? Noooo. Buddhism makes people just slightly happier than other non-western beliefs. As we’ve seen before the influence of Human Development on this score is too significant, so a mere way of thinking does not overcome people’s general attitudes towards their life as strongly as material provisions do.
What: Average happiness score from World Happiness Report by belief. It was calculated only for those countries where followers of a particular belief make more than 10% of the population and it was weighted by that percentage. Judaism and “other beliefs” were excluded because they had only 1 country complying with such criteria. It was Israel for Judaism and Taiwan for “other beliefs”. I guess that “belief” was Taoism. When: 2019 for happiness, 2020 for religion (it’s an estimate) because the latest actual data were of 2010. Where: 155 countries of the world. Source: WHR and Pew Research Center
Religion has a strong influence on people’s attitudes towards their lives. Maybe being religious makes people happier? As seen from the graph it seems directly the opposite – the more religious the society the less happy they are!
The first three columns are transparent because there are less than 3 countries in their value range.
What: Percentage of the total population in a country affiliated with any religion, and happiness score from the World Happiness Report. Countries are grouped into bands of 10 percentage points by religiosity. When: 2019 for happiness, 2020 for religion (it’s an estimate) because the latest actual data were of 2010. Where: 155 countries of the world. Source: WHR and Pew Research Center
It seems like it’s the opposite. Maybe the less sun people have, the more they work to survive, the more developed they become and thus – more happy.
African countries have been made dim in this graph because they show less clear relationships – in the Sub-Saharan region, they all occupy the bottom part of the happiness chart, in the Middle East & North Africa, they occupy just a narrow band in the sunshine spectrum.
What: Happiness score from World Happiness Report and Yearly sunshine hours. Since it’s impossible to calculate sunshine hours for the whole country which might be as diverse as the USA with Florida and Alaska, a simple average of available cities was calculated. When: 2019 Where: Countries that have both statistics. Western & European countries include Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Source: WHR and W: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_by_sunshine_duration
As we can see, it clearly is. The more developed the country, the more people are happy about living in it. But this particular index of happiness does not measure daily emotional experience, so, this “happiness” is not about being euphoric and excited, it’s more about overall reflection on life. Then it makes sense, that being healthy, literate and having money makes a person happy.
What: Human Development Index compared to Happiness score from World Happiness Report When: 2017 Where: Countries that have both statistics. Source: WHR and UNDP
As already expected – western regions (including North America and Oceania which consist only of Australia and New Zealand in this dataset) tend to be happier than the rest of the world, and Africa and most of Asia are least happy. What is interesting, that the world average seems quite low – this is due to a large number of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, and really small numbers of countries in the happiest regions.
What: Happiness score from the World Happiness Report. Not weighted averages by country. For most regions, maximum and minimum values were removed from the calculation. When: Published 2019 Where: World regions modified from WB classification. Source: WHR
The answer is simple – Scandinavian countries. General trends are seen quite clearly – western countries (including Australia and New Zealand) take the lead, those from the far east are rare, and Africa is not present at the top at all.
What: Happiness score from the World Happiness Report. I am aware that this measure of happiness is disputed. When: They say it’s 2019, but it’s the date of publishing. Where: Top 30 countries of the world. Source: WHR
I dare to say some very general upward trend is visible by a naked eye. The correlation coefficient is only 24%, but positive after all.
What: Investment or gross capital formation as a percent of GDP in current local currency, GDP per capita growth. When: Investment in 2017, and GDP growth in 2018 (because there should be a lag before the investment kicks in and GDP starts to grow) Where: Countries that have both statistics. Source: IMF for Investment and WB for GDP
Behold these exotic countries! It seems that out of often mentioned countries only China is at the top of this list. The graph makes sense – the less developed the country, the more investment it needs.
What: Investment or gross capital formation as a percent of GDP in current local currency. It is measured by the total value of the gross fixed capital formation and changes in inventories and acquisitions less disposals of valuables for a unit or sector. When: 2018 Where: World Source: IMF WEO report April 2019
This graph is for you to observe the nonexistence of any relationship. The correlation between these two datasets is only 9%. Every region has values across a wide range of debt values, however, each regions’ GDP variation is specific to that region. Conclusion – debt does not mean a better life. I guess – ways of using it do.
What: General government gross debt as a percent of GDP and GDP per capita at constant prices of 2010 in USD. When: 2018 Where: Countries that have both statistics. Source: IMF and WB
As expected – overdeveloped Japan and troublesome Greece lead, however, the following positions are really versatile, there are absolutely no clues to support the idea that more developed countries are indebted more.
* I have read rumours that China is hiding their actual debt via various schemes with government-owned banks. Their debt might be larger. It’s 50% according to the data I have.
What: General government gross debt as a percent of GDP. I wanted to use net debt, but it was not available for most countries. When: mostly estimates for 2018 Where: World Source: IMF WEO report April 2019