How Happy Are Americans?

BY Paul Solman  October 13, 2011 at 1:00 PM EDT

Flickr user CaptPiper via a Creative Commons license.
Photo by flickr user CaptPiper.

The 40-nation Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has just released the published version of its study of well-being, reported on Making Sen$e some months ago. We thought the OECD’s summary of the highlights would be worth sharing.

OECD- How are you feeling?
The United States is near the middle, 19th from the right between Korea and New Zealand.

From the report:

The report finds that well-being has increased on average over the past fifteen years: people are richer and more likely to be employed; they enjoy better housing conditions and are exposed to lower air pollution; they live longer and are more educated; they are also exposed to fewer crimes. But differences across countries are large. Furthermore, some groups of the population, particularly less educated and low-income people, tend to fare systematically worse in all dimensions of well-being considered in this report. For instance they live shorter lives and report greater health problems; their children obtain worse school results; they participate less in political activities; they can rely on lower social networks in case of needs; they are more exposed to crime and pollution; they tend to be less satisfied with their life as a whole than more educated and higher-income people.

This entry is cross-posted on the Making Sen$e page, where correspondent Paul Solman answers your economic and business questions. Follow Paul on Twitter.