Cross-national studies suggest that people are happier in feminine nations that are also economically affluent. The first objective of the present study was to replicate this finding with a quality of life index which is more comprehensive than the usual measures of subjective well-being. This comprehensive indicator termed Happy Life-Expectancy (HLE) combines subjective happiness with objective longevity. As predicted, in the richer countries, HLE was higher in feminine nations (r=-0.51, n=14, P<0.05, one-tailed), whereas in the poorer nations HLE did not correlate with national masculinity-femininity (r=-0.27, n=13, NS). A second objective was to examine the mechanisms behind the significant relationship in the richer countries. Contrary to expectation, the findings could not be explained by national differences in private freedom.

Cross-national, Economic affluence, Feminine values, Freedom, Happy life-expectancy, Subjective well-being (SWB),
Personality and Individual Differences
Department of Sociology

Arrindell, W.A, & Veenhoven, R. (2002). Feminine values and happy life-expectancy in nations. Personality and Individual Differences, 33(5), 803–813. doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(01)00193-3