Hungarians a happy medium

Analysis

Seven out of ten people claim to be happy in the world, research carried out in 2013 by Gallup reveals. The figures are on the rise since the last survey in 2006. Hungarian happiness is approximately around 50%.

The research involved 138 countries worldwide. Respondents were asked to answer questions regarding how rested and respected they felt, and whether they had smiled and laughed a lot the previous day.

The top ten of happiness is comprised entirely of Latin American countries (with the exception of Denmark, which sneaked in at eighth place), with Paraguay and Panama at the top.

Joe Clifton, CEO of Gallup World Poll, told the USA Today that the common place expression “money does not buy happiness” is indeed true. In his opinion the devil is in the details, and cultural differences play an important role in the feeling of happiness. Latin Americans create strong communities and spend a lot of time with their families.

The least happy country was, perhaps unsurprisingly, civil war afflicted Syria, gaining the lowest score in the history of the study at 36 points. Hungary is right in the middle with 67 points in 72nd place.

Gallup’s findings correlate with the findings of OECD Better Life study. According to this research overall happiness for Hungarians is 4.9 on a ten point scale, tied with Turkey and is only a few tenths above Greece at 4.7 points. Hungary’s northern neighbors seem to be much happier (Slovakia 5.9, the Czech Republic 6.7, Austria 7.5) with Switzerland the first in Europe with 7.8 points.

Women in Hungary are less happy than men, and these measures correlate with figures worldwide. Hungarian women evaluated their happiness at 4.8 while Hungarian men turned in a score of 5.1 points.

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