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What factors are consistently associated with happiness?

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The relationship of individual-level and country-level social trust to individuals’ happiness was investigated, using cross-national data of 39,082 participants from 29 Asian countries. For self-reported happiness, 2.0% of the participants responded they were very happy, while 18.7% were very unhappy. The significant variables associated with happiness were female gender, being age 20–29 years or 60–69 years, married, high income and education, students/retired/homemaker, religious belief, good health, and higher individual and aggregate social trust. Individual health, social trust, and aggregate social trust were all independently associated with people’s happiness. People were more likely to be happy if they lived in countries with higher aggregate social trust than countries with poor social trust.

Source: “Individual and Country-Level Effects of Social Trust on Happiness: The Asia Barometer Survey” from Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Volume 40, Issue 10, pages 2574–2593, October 2010

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About Eric Barker