Are people in Belgium happy ?

29/03/2018

The newspaper La Libre recently produced a map of happiness in Belgium. A happiness rating, differences between genders, ages or regions. Here are the lessons that we can learn from this.

According to this survey, more than 1 in 3 Belgians (35%) rate their happiness as at least 8/10 and therefore consider themselves to be very happy. Conversely, a quarter of Belgians (28%) say that they are not happy, evaluating their happiness at 5/10 or less.

There are almost no differences between regions. In fact, Flemish (6.56), Walloon (6.55) and Brussels (6.44) residents give themselves almost similar ratings. The same applies for men and women.

However, age seems to be a determining factor with the over 60s being, on average, happier than the rest of the population (7.2). This may be explained by the fact that members of this generation, known as baby-boomers, have often managed to save well and can generally focus on what they really want. On the contrary, so-called generation X and particularly those aged 35-49, consider themselves, on average, to be less happy (6.2).

In addition, the survey revealed that people happy with their financial situation are 22% less likely to be unhappy, compared with 18% for people who feel healthy. The 3 happiness needs - the need for independence, the need for social belonging and the need for skills - also play an important role with a 26%, 17% and 22% less chance respectively of leading an unhappy life.

However, all these figures that endeavour to bring the abstract concept of happiness down to a certain mathematical logic, obviously only count if we believe that happiness can be calculated, analysed and manipulated.

 

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