World Happiness Report says Irish cheery despite economic woes
Recession has failed to seriously damped Irish happiness
Irish people are as happy now as they were at the height of the Celtic Tiger boom – well almost.
The latest World Happiness Report suggests that the Irish have overcome the negativity associated with the recession.
The Irish Times reports that the poll ranks Ireland 18th in the world with an average happiness score of 7.076 (out of 10) for the years 2010 to 2012.
The report says this is just 0.068 less than the score of 7.144 recorded for the years 2005 to 2007 at the time when the Celtic Tiger was at its height.
Ireland’s performance sparkles next to that of the other recession hit PIGS countries in Europe – Portugal, Greece and Spain.
The World Happiness Report says they have experienced a dramatic fall in happiness since their economies crashed.
Greece has suffered the biggest drop and is now ranked 70th in the world, second only to strife-torn Egypt.
The report was compiled by the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York and measures variables such as health and longevity, income and productivity and social solidarity using the survey results of different countries to arrive at the results.
Co-author John Helliwell told the Irish Times that economic well-being was only one measure of happiness and on many others Ireland scored very well.
He said: “Ireland’s result is remarkable given the financial crisis.
“This is just one more illustration that people’s happiness depends to a much smaller extent on their income than they think it does.”
The report says some 97.1 per cent of Irish people had somebody they felt they could rely on in times of troubles, the second best in the world, which has improved from 96.7 per cent between 2005 and 2007.
Helliwell added: “This is a very important variable at a time of economic hardship.
“Such a phenomenon was also evident in Iceland which ranks 9th in the world despite suffering an economic implosion similar to Ireland. It also scored highly on the indicator of social solidarity.
“This suggests a society that is much more likely to work together rather than become fractious when they are dealing with a problem. If Iceland wasn’t there as a comparable example, I’d be less assured that it is real.”
Helliwell also said the figure which suggests more than 90 per cent of Irish people still felt control of their destiny, was ‘remarkable’ and much higher than most countries in the world.
Denmark topped the world index with a score of 7.693 followed by Norway (7.655), Switzerland (7.650) and the Netherlands (7.512). Ireland is just below the United States (7.082) and above the UK(6.883), France (6.764) and Germany (6.672).
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