Residents of poor countries have greater sense of meaning in life than those in rich nations, research says

BY newsdesk  December 19, 2013 at 4:00 PM EST

According to new research, people living in poor countries have a greater sense of meaning in their lives than those living in wealthy countries.

These new findings, published in the Association for Psychological Science’s academic journal “Psychology Science,” suggest that this greater sense of life meaning stems from residents’ strong family ties and solid connections to religious tradition. “Thus far, the wealth of nations has been almost always associated with longevity, health, happiness, or life satisfaction,” Shigehiro Oishi, a professor at the University of Virginia and original publisher of this study, said. “Given that meaning in life is an important aspect of overall well-being, we wanted to look more carefully at differential patterns, correlates, and predictors for meaning in life.”

The research used data from Gallup World poll of 140,000 people in 132 nations. Even after controlling the data for potential variables, including education, fertility rate and individualism, researchers demonstrated that the level of religiosity remained significant for people’s self measurement of life meaning.

H/T Andy Swab