The first comparison of happiness in nations took place in 1948 and involved 9 countries (Buchanan, 1953). A second comparative study in 1960 covered 14 nations (Cantril 1965) and this was followed by a global survey in 1975 carried out by Gallup (1976), in which happiness in all parts of the world was assessed. Today we have comparable data on happiness in 90 nations and for a dozen nations we also have time series of 40 to 25 years (Veenhoven 2004). These data provide the fuel for a rising number of publications on happiness in nations. Currently, the Bibliography of Happiness counts some 400 entries on this subject, 20% of which have been published over the last 5 years. To date, all the studies have been focused on the level of happiness in nations, that is, on how happy citizens are in a country. In this special issue we look at the same data from a different perspective and focus on difference in happiness in nations, that is, on the degree of divergence with regard to happiness found among citizens in a particular country.

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Journal of Happiness Studies
Department of Sociology

Veenhoven, R. (2005). Inequality of happiness in nations. Journal of Happiness Studies (Vol. 6, pp. 351–355). doi:10.1007/s10902-005-0003-x