Tuesday, May 12, 2015

World Happiness Report 2015

From my corner of the law library, I would bet that happiness means the end of finals (or the end of law school and the beginning of a new career) for most law students finishing up their exams this week.  But it's also a good time of year to consider what constitutes genuine happiness in life--not only for individuals, but for the nations of the world trying to foster the well-being of their citizens and societies.  World Happiness Report 2015 is the latest in a series of landmark surveys of well-being and happiness as measures of economic and social development in 158 countries.  The Report, produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN): A Global Initiative for the United Nations, contains statistics, maps and charts ranking and comparing nations on the basis of six key indicators of well-being: gross domestic product (GDP) per capita; healthy years of life expectancy; social support; trust; perceived freedom to make life decisions; and generosity.

A work of "leading experts across fields--economics, psychology, survey analysis, national statistics, health, public policy and more," the Report also features in-depth chapters on special topics such as how happiness measures differ by age, gender, and global region; how societies can create sustainable happiness in their young (under age 18); and new findings from the neuroscience of happiness.  The full report in PDF is available here.       

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

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