Happiness Statistics, Facts and Trends

“The surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.


Based on research about happiness statistics published in the Journal of Happiness Studies.

In summary, “happiness is a state of contentment when all aspects of life are in harmony”.

Researchers studying this phenomenon “happiness” have identified four conditions for its existence;

  1. Experiencing a state of contentment and satisfaction in all areas of life
  2. Being in control of yourself
  3. Prioritizing self-growth over external success
  4. Cultivating an optimistic outlook for what lies ahead

According to empirical studies, well being is subjective. Happiness is the amalgamation of life satisfaction.

Despite the challenging circumstances associated with rising cost of living outpacing income growth. stress, worry and depression, it is possible to find joy in such moments.

So, if you feel the same, you are not alone. But now, as we look ahead to the new year, we don’t want to wait to figure out our plans.

Here’s the breakdown of what you’ll find in this this study:

  • Does money make you happy
  • Which countries are the happiest places to live
  • Happiness by age
  • Happiness by gender
  • Social Media influence on happiness
  • Lots more

So if you’re researching happiness statistics, then this study is for you.

Let’s get started!

Key happiness statistics

  • In general, people are happier when they make good money. A Harvard study of 4,000 wealthy people showed only 0.25% were happier on a 10-point scale.
  • In the US, a significant part of the population (41%) says they feel happy most or all the time. 43% say they are usually happy.
  • In the US, only 15% of people reported feeling unhappy in 2023. This is a significant decline from the prior year when 23% felt unhappy.
  • Statistics in 2023 show that the majority of people (63%) believe that it is very important to be happy in life. With only 32% considering happiness a “nice” but not essential goal.
  • Recent research has shown that monetary rewards and material possessions can only provide short-term happiness boosts.

Happiness is much more intricate than a self-help book may lead you to assume. It’s filled with unexpected joys. We often overlook the contrary things that please us or take away our contentment. As well as bizarre ways of achieving cheerful emotions.

To ensure your happiness levels reach their highest potential, here are 31 facts about being happy.

But first, let’s address the biggest question about happiness, money.

Does money buy happiness? 

According to research, money can indeed contribute to people’s happiness. Experts from Wharton and Princeton have found that their studies indicate a correlation between money and happiness for individuals (source; Knowledge, at Wharton). Empower conducted a study revealing that 60% of adults believe in the ability of money to bring happiness (source; CNBC).

  1. Research by Princeton University in 2010 revealed that as annual income increased day to day happiness also rose
  2. Findings indicated that once income reached $75,000 happiness levels plateaued
  3. Another study by the University of Pennsylvania in 2021 found that happiness continued to increase with increased income. Even beyond the $75,000 mark. Without any signs of leveling off.
  4. A paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrate that higher incomes are generally associated with higher levels of happiness
  5. There is an exception for well off individuals who are still unhappy; for them more money does not necessarily lead to greater happiness.
  6. Mellers highlight that the connection between well being and income varies depending on an individual’s level of well being.

Global Happiness Overview

World Happiness Report Findings

The United Nations recently released the World Happiness Report 2023. The report offers an overview of happiness levels worldwide.

  1. Despite the challenges brought by the recent pandemic. The same report reveals that global happiness levels remained steady.
  2. Finland, Denmark and Switzerland emerged as the highest ranking happiest countries.
  3. Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and South Sudan found themselves at the bottom of the list.
  4. The report emphasizes how social connections play a role in determining happiness levels.
  5. Countries with support networks tend to experience higher levels of happiness. Compared to those with weaker social ties.

Demographic Insights

It’s worth mentioning that everyone’s experiences are different. Health, relationships and personal situations have an impact on happiness regardless of age.

The World Happiness Report 2023 indicates that as people grow older their happiness tends to decrease. While individuals in their 20s and 30s report high levels of happiness. Way more than those in their 50s and 60s.

Happiness By Age

  1. During the teenage years and early adulthood young people often feel a great sense of happiness. Fueled by their excitement for experiences exploring the world around them. While enjoying the newfound independence.
  2. As individuals progress into their twenties and early thirties. Their happiness tends to come from different sources. They find joy in building their careers, forming relationships and achieving personal goals. Those are things that bring personal fulfillment.
  3. The midlife phase can present challenges. It also offers opportunities for personal growth and contentment. Many individuals find satisfaction in family life well as through career accomplishments. During this stage of life they develop an understanding of their own values and priorities.
  4. When children leave home to pursue their paths in life parents may experience a mix of emotions. However this phase often opens up possibilities for self discovery. Parents have the chance to explore hobbies or interests that bring them joy and take pleasure in the freedom that comes with having an empty nest.
  5. In retirement years individuals often find happiness through engaging in leisure activities they enjoy. They also cherish spending quality time with loved ones while reflecting on a lifetime filled with experiences. Both memories and lessons learned along the way.

Happiness By Gender

  1. Generally women tend to express levels of happiness compared to men.
  2. Studies suggest that women tend to express a range of emotions, including both positive and negative feelings compared to men.
  3. Happiness can be influenced by priorities in life. For women, social connections, relationships and community engagement may bring them joy. On the other hand men may find satisfaction in their career accomplishments and personal achievements.
  4. Mental health plays a role in happiness as well. Women are more likely to seek support for health concerns, which can affect their reported levels of happiness.
  5. Finding a balance between work and personal life is crucial for happiness. Both men and women tend to experience increased well being when they can manage their careers while maintaining a fulfilling life.


Socioeconomic Status and Happiness

  1. Research has shown that people belonging to socioeconomic classes tend to display varying levels of happiness.
  2. However the relationship between income and happiness is not always as simple as it appears. Interestingly there are situations where individuals with lower incomes report experiencing levels of happiness compared to their wealthier counterparts.
  3. This could be due to factors such as social support, job satisfaction and a sense of purpose in life.


Geographical Variations in Happiness

Happiness levels can also be affected by where you’re.

  1.  According to the 2023 World Happiness Report countries like Finland, Denmark and Switzerland in Northern Europe are often seen as the happiest.
  2. On the side countries, in Sub Saharan Africa tend to have lower happiness levels.
  3. However it’s important to recognize that happiness is influenced by factors and geographical location is just one of them.


Psychological Perspectives

Emotional Well-Being and Mental Health

Psychological studies have long confirmed the connection between emotional well being and mental health.

  1. In 2023, the American Psychological Association (APA) anticipates that psychologists will play a role in tackling some of society’s most significant challenges
  2. .Among these challenges the issue of health stands out as particularly pressing.
  3. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) approximately one in four individuals will encounter mental health difficulties at some point in their lives.
  4. Given this reality psychologists are prioritizing the promotion of well being as a preventive measure against mental health problems.

They are exploring approaches to help individuals nurture positive emotions, like gratitude, kindness and mindfulness. These strategies aim to reduce stress, anxiety and depression while enhancing levels of happiness.


Personality Traits and Happiness Levels

It has been discovered through research that personality traits play a role in determining how happy people are.

  1. Psychologists predict that there will be an increasing interest in studying personality and its impact on happiness in 2023.
  2. Studies have indicated that individuals who score high on certain personality traits, like being outgoing, agreeable and conscientious tend to be happier compared to those who score low on these traits.
  3. Psychologists are also exploring the influence of negative personality traits, such as being prone to anxiety and having an outlook in decreasing happiness levels.

They are researching ways to assist individuals in overcoming these traits and fostering positive ones like optimism and resilience.

Impact of Social Relationships on Happiness

Psychologists are focusing their attention on understanding how social relationships affect happiness.

  1. Many studies have revealed that individuals who have social connections tend to experience greater happiness compared to those who feel isolated.
  2. Looking ahead to 2023 psychologists have a surge of interest in exploring the dynamics between relationships and their influence on well being.
  3. Experts in psychology are currently investigating strategies aimed at helping people establish and nurture meaningful social connections.
  4. These approaches include engaging in volunteer work, participating in groups and honing active listening skills.

Additionally researchers are delving into the impact of technology, on relationships and levels of happiness while also seeking ways to encourage healthy usage of social media platforms.

Economic Factors

Income Levels and Perceived Happiness

  1. Income plays a role in determining a person’s happiness.
  2. According to Harvard Business review 9 out of 10 people are willing to earn less money to do more-meaningful work
  3. Studies suggest that individuals residing in countries with GDP per capita generally express higher levels of contentment.
  4. It’s worth noting that once a certain income threshold the correlation between money and happiness becomes less significant.
  5. Research indicates that how people perceive their income in relation to others, within their community also affects their happiness.
  6. Those who believe they earn more than their peers tend to experience satisfaction compared to those who feel they earn less.


Employment Status and Job Satisfaction

Being employed and having job satisfaction are both factors that contribute to happiness.

  1. According to Gallup World Poll (29%) of people who have jobs generally tend to be happier than those who’re unemployed (22%).
  2. Additionally, how satisfied someone is with their job plays a role in their overall happiness. Those who are content with their jobs are more likely to experience levels of happiness compared to those who aren’t.
  3. The level of satisfaction employees feel at any organization greatly impacts how long they will thrive in today’s job market.
  4. Job satisfaction is influenced by factors, including employers taking care of their employees’ mental well being, providing fair salaries and offering additional work benefits.
  5. Happy workers not demonstrate increased loyalty and dedication towards their work but also towards the organization, as a whole.


Health and Lifestyle

Happiness and Longevity

  1. Studies have shown that happiness and longevity are connected in a way.
  2. Older people were up to 35% less likely to die if they reported feeling happy, excited, and content.
  3. Individuals who reported low levels of happiness also had a risk of developing chronic ailments. Things like heart disease and diabetes.
  4. By adopting a healthy lifestyle. By participating in activities that encourage engagement. It offers a chance to enhance happiness levels leading to a longer and healthier life.

Technology and Happiness

In 2023, technology has brought about both positive and negative effects on happiness levels.

Social Media Influence on Happiness

Social media has become a part of our lives that can’t be ignored, for generations.

  1. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center YouTube remains the most popular platform among teenagers.
  2. The survey also discovered that excessive use of media can impact health and well being.
  3. More than 3 hours on social media per day puts young people at a higher risk for mental health problems.
  4. While social media does provide a sense of connection and community. 13% of kids ages 12-17 report depression and 32% report anxiety. 25% of 18 to 25-year-olds report mental illness.


Technological Advancements and Quality of Life

Technological progress has also played a role in enhancing our quality of life.

  • Advancements in technology have enabled treatment of illnesses and injuries.
  • Developments in transportation technology have made traveling more accessible. For individuals , it has opened up experiences and personal growth opportunities.
  • In general, technology can influence happiness levels both positively and negatively.

Future Outlook

Predictions for Happiness Trends

Based on the trends and statistics experts predict that happiness levels will keep increasing in 2023.

  • Most individuals consider happiness to be of importance in life.
  • The World Happiness Report for 2023 reveals that Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland and Norway are among the countries with the highest happiness levels.
  • These nations have ranked at the top of the happiness index.

Potential Challenges and Opportunities

In the future there are factors that could impact happiness levels and these are worry and consequences of climate change.

  1. Climate change can result in disasters, food shortages and displacement. These externak factors can affect people’s well being and happiness.
  2. Technology and innovation present opportunities. They can contribute to an increase in happiness levels.
  3. For instance these advancements can bring about convenience, efficiency and productivity.
  4. This means that individuals will have time to dedicate to their passions and hobbies. Enhancing their sense of happiness and well being.

All things considered, while there are challenges on the horizon that may impact happiness. By addressing challenges and making the most out of available opportunities, we have the potential to create a brighter future. Filled with positivity and fulfillment for everyone involved.


Conclusion happiness facts

  • People who believe their lives have meaning and purpose are more likely to experience greater happiness than those who don’t.
  • Generosity is an important factor in satisfaction and well-being, even among people living in poverty.
  • Being grateful can improve mental health and increase our sense of joy.
  • Having close relationships with family and friends is a key contributor to happiness.
  • People who practice positive thinking are better able to cope with stress and difficult life circumstances, resulting in greater happiness overall.
  • Adopting an attitude of optimism can help us achieve both short-term and long-term goals, leading to higher levels of happiness.
  • Engaging in meaningful activities, such as volunteering or pursuing a hobby, can help us find purpose in life and lead to greater satisfaction.
  • Taking time for self-care is important for our mental health, which in turn can have a positive effect on our overall level of happiness.






Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences paper

Daniel Kahneman

petri maatta, CEO
Petri Maatta

Petri Maatta is a photographer, filmmaker, and webdesigner who has been working for over 20 years in the creative industry. Fascinated by manifesting for business reasons, Petri was determined to find out what it took to create success. He started his career with seven years of business failures before he found success by learning about manifesting from a mentor with a Fortune 500 company. Today Petri shares his knowledge through DreamMaker courses designed to help people change their businesses and lives while living on their terms.

Read My Story here.

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