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It's official: Irish ranks last for happiness in western Europe

Global happiness levels remain high, despite the economic turmoil – just not in Ireland.

Image: Dale Moore via Creative Commons

SAD FACE: IRISH people rank last in Europe for happiness – and don’t do so well compared to the rest of the world either.

While the rest of the world is relatively happy despite the ongoing economic and social turmoil, Irish people rank among the lowest in a global poll which has been carried out every year since 1977.

Global net happiness, as measured by the polling company, stands at 40 per cent – but Ireland lags behind at just 20 per cent.

Some of the countries which scored less than Ireland are Egypt, Georgia, Iraq, Lithuania and Palestine.

Meanwhile some of the happiest countries were Fiji (85 per cent), Nigeria (84 per cent), Netherlands (77 per cent), Ghana (72 per cent) and Colombia (71 per cent).

The survey found that middle-aged people are less likely to be happy than under-30s or the over-65s.

The survey, carried out in Ireland by polling company Red C, asks people whether they’re happy or unhappy and then measures the gap between the two.

In most countries, happy people outnumber the unhappy people by 40 percentage points – but in Ireland there’s a gap of just 20 per cent.

45 per cent of people in Ireland say that they’re happy, while 25 per cent say that they’re unhappy. 30 per cent of Irish people say that they’re neither happy nor unhappy.

The survey was carried out by pollsters in 58 countries and surveyed over 52,913 people as part of WIN-Gallup international. The poll has been conducted annually on New Year’s Eve for the past 34 years.

The survey found that on average 53 per cent of people across the globe say that they feel happy while 13 per cent say they’re unhappy. 31 per cent say that they’re neither happy nor unhappy while 3 per cent did not respond.

The survey results said that it is “not the amount of money you have by the relative status which you enjoy in your society” which makes people feel happy.

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