Apparently there's something to that whole "Irish eyes are smiling thing" - Ireland is the happiest country in Europe.
A recent Eurobarometer poll on Fairness, inequality and inter-generational mobility offered surprising findings on the views and outlooks of citizens across Europe, and one of them is that Ireland is the happiest county in all of the EU.
An impressive 97% of Irish people said that they considered themselves to be happy. This was the highest percentage in the EU, with the average across all European countries at 83%. The country with the lowest happiness quotient was Romania, where only 59% of respondents said they considered themselves to be happy people.
This is not the first time Ireland has offered up some impressive happiness stats. The 2018 World Happiness Report ranked Ireland as the 14th happiest country in the world, ahead of the US and the UK.
Where's all this happiness coming from? A 2017 survey revealed that family is the most important factor in making Irish people happy, so that may have something to do with it.
The Eurobarometer poll, which surveyed 1,000 people in Ireland in December 2017, also revealed that 78% of Irish people think most things that happen to them are fair, ahead of the EU average of 53%.
Interestingly, 74% of Irish people, again the highest in Europe, think that compared to 30 years ago opportunities for getting ahead in life have become more equal. The EU average was 46% dropping to 21% in Greece and 22% in France.
The Irish were also in the top tanking when it came to agreeing they were in good health, at 92%, ahead of the EU-wide average of 78%.
And it seems as though the 'luck of the Irish' is more myth than truth - 82% of Irish people think being lucky is essential/important, which was lower than the EU average of 85%. People in Bulgaria were most likely to agree at 97% while those in the UK were least likely at 62%.
See the full survey results here.
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