Who is Happy and Why?

I just ran across a global map (mercator projection) of countries ranked for their levels of “happiness.”  The distribution of levels of perceived “happiness” is very interesting for what it implies as to the sources of “happiness.”

Here is the map:

Now, the inference I make is based on older survey results which showed that “happiness” scores across humanity do not vary directly with money.  As I recall, up to a point, more money leads to feelings of being happier, but after a point (about $10,000 US), more money does not lead to more happiness. These results track with Abraham Maslow’s theory of human needs rising from a foundation of security and survival needs up to the intangible of self-actualization.

The conclusion is that much of happiness results from social and psychological/emotional factors, such as trust in self and others.  So, the acquisition on an individual level and the accumulation on a social level of social and human capitals will lead to more happiness.

The work in Bhutan on Gross National Happiness as a more meaningful measure of success than GDP works on a similar understanding of the human.

Therefore, one might be tempted to conclude that building out moral capitalism and moral government will result in more happiness or as Jeremy Bentham advocates, “The greatest good for the greatest number.”