Title

To Be or Not To Be Happy: Analysis of the 2022 and 2020 World Happiness Score

Poster Number

Withdrawn

Lead Author Affiliation

Business Analytics

Lead Author Status

Masters Student

Introduction

How to be happy? This is an age-old question that many have tried to uncover the answer to. From the great philosophers such as Aristotle to great religious teachers such as Buddha, the secret to happiness consists of different forms. Many believe it is in the form of a pyramid: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The pyramid of happiness starts with physiological needs at the base and with self actualization at the top. However, many argue that the 1943 theory no longer applies to the modern age of technology. Whether it is a 10 step how-to self help book or taking vitamin D sunshine pills every day, we all strive to reach the same fulfillment: to be happy.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network seeks to create a happy world. Every year they publish the World Happiness Report through the Gallup World Poll data which consists of 160 countries and more than 100 questions. With this resource, they strive to help governments and companies to create policies that will improve the quality of life. For example, the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern declared that from the world report she will focus on the well-being of the people as a measure of the country’s economic success. As more leaders evaluate the report and integrate their discoveries into their policy-making decisions, more people would thrive, succeed, and be happy.

Every year teams of economists, psychologists, survey analysts, national staticians and many more examine the report, deep dive into every country, and convert the numbers to stories. These stories can explain a country’s political unrest, economic instability, or a global pandemic. Although happiness is an intangible abstract concept, it is measured by our environment and surroundings. We are greatly influenced by where we live, who we surround ourselves with, and what the state of society is in. There is no tool or instrument that exists to measure one’s happiness, but as investigators we create software programs that analyze variables that bring us closer to the great mystery.

Purpose

To compare and contrast the 2020 and 2022 World Happiness Report.

Method

There are two datasets utilized: World Happiness Report 2020 and World Happiness Report 2022. They are both excel files obtained from kaggle.com. There are 149 rows and 20 columns. The survey measures six factors: economic production, social support, life expectancy, freedom, absence of corruption, and generosity. ‘Ladder score’ is the happiness score. This is the national average response. ‘GDP per capita’ uses country specific forecasts of real GDP growth. ‘Social support’ refers to the support provided by social networks to the individual. ‘Health life expectancy’ is the average life in good health. ‘Freedom to make life choices’ is the national average to the question: “Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your freedom to choose what you do with your life?”. ‘Generosity’ refers to the question asked, “Have you donated money to a charity in the past month?”. ‘Perceptions of corruption’ is the national average response to two questions from the poll: “Is corruption widespread throughout the government or not” and “Is corruption widespread within businesses or not?”. ‘Dystopia’ consists of values that are equal to the world’s lowest national averages for each of the six factors. This variable does not affect the overall happiness score but rather explains why some countries rank higher than others.

Results

Through the findings, the happiest countries are Finland, Denmark, and Switzerland. The most unhappy countries are Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, and Lebanon. In 2020, the healthy life expectancy, social support, and GDP capita decreased; however, returned to normal in 2022. Overall, the most impactful factor on happiness is GDP per capita.

Significance

In order to improve a country’s happiness score, we must look at the happiest countries, observe what policies and lifestyles they have adopted, and apply those to our own.

Location

William Knox Holt Memorial Library and Learning Center, University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Ave., Stockton, CA 95211

Format

Poster Presentation

Poster Session

Afternoon

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Apr 30th, 1:00 PM Apr 30th, 3:00 PM

To Be or Not To Be Happy: Analysis of the 2022 and 2020 World Happiness Score

William Knox Holt Memorial Library and Learning Center, University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Ave., Stockton, CA 95211

How to be happy? This is an age-old question that many have tried to uncover the answer to. From the great philosophers such as Aristotle to great religious teachers such as Buddha, the secret to happiness consists of different forms. Many believe it is in the form of a pyramid: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The pyramid of happiness starts with physiological needs at the base and with self actualization at the top. However, many argue that the 1943 theory no longer applies to the modern age of technology. Whether it is a 10 step how-to self help book or taking vitamin D sunshine pills every day, we all strive to reach the same fulfillment: to be happy.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network seeks to create a happy world. Every year they publish the World Happiness Report through the Gallup World Poll data which consists of 160 countries and more than 100 questions. With this resource, they strive to help governments and companies to create policies that will improve the quality of life. For example, the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern declared that from the world report she will focus on the well-being of the people as a measure of the country’s economic success. As more leaders evaluate the report and integrate their discoveries into their policy-making decisions, more people would thrive, succeed, and be happy.

Every year teams of economists, psychologists, survey analysts, national staticians and many more examine the report, deep dive into every country, and convert the numbers to stories. These stories can explain a country’s political unrest, economic instability, or a global pandemic. Although happiness is an intangible abstract concept, it is measured by our environment and surroundings. We are greatly influenced by where we live, who we surround ourselves with, and what the state of society is in. There is no tool or instrument that exists to measure one’s happiness, but as investigators we create software programs that analyze variables that bring us closer to the great mystery.