A Map of Happiness That's Worth a Thousand Smiley Faces

The Greater Good Science Center produces a happy, interactive depiction of the state of world happiness.

Nov 9, 2014
Mapping happiness (Shutterstock)

Mapping happiness (Shutterstock)

They say a picture is worth a thousand words – this interactive map of world happiness is worth a thousand smiley faces. Produced by The Greater Good Science Center, the graphic was compiled using data collected from students in the online course, The Science of Happiness.
Costa Rica came out on top as the happiest country, followed by Croatia and Chile. It’s interesting to note that the data differed significantly from similar studies on world happiness, which often place Scandinavian countries at the top of the list. The University of California, Berkeley center points out, however, that the figures are subjective, considering they were collected from people who signed up for the positive course. As well as happiness, the survey covered factors including life satisfaction and social connection, in which similar countries occupied the top slots.
The most innovative part of the research is the map below, which you can explore by zooming in and out, and clicking on specific countries to get more information.

Does data like this make you happy? There's more where that came from! The Greater Good Science Center surveyed over 100,000 students before the course began, to get a glimpse of how happiness varies between genders, age groups and relationship status. Wade through the survey's findings to your heart's delight – and be happy!

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