Who Are the Happiest People in the World?
Andrew Kohut is the president of the Pew Research Center. He also acts as director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press (formerly the Times Mirror Center for the People & the Press) and the Pew Global Attitudes Project. He was President of The Gallup Organization from 1979 to 1989. In 1989, he founded Princeton Survey Research Associates, an attitude and opinion research firm specializing in media, politics, and public policy studies. He served as founding director of surveys for the Times Mirror Center 1990-1992, and was named its Director in 1993. He is a past president of American Association of Public Opinion Research and the National Council on Public Polls. In 2005, he received the American Association of Public Opinion Research's highest honor, the Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement. He is a frequent press commentator on the meaning and interpretation of opinion poll results and the co-author of four books, including, mostly recently, America Against the World (Times Books). He received an A.B. degree from Seton Hall University in 1964 and studied graduate sociology at Rutgers, the State University, from 1964 to 1966.
Question: Who are the happiest people in the world?
Andrew Kohut: Rich people. Rich people are always happier than poor people. I mean anyone who says that money can’t buy happiness hasn’t read not only our polls, but polls over the years. In rich countries . . . In . . . In . . . In rich countries, it’s the rich people who are happier than the poor people. And when you do a global survey, it’s the richer countries where people express the most satisfaction and happiness with their lives. I mean there’s some exceptions to this. One of the things that our polls have shown recently is that over the past five years, as . . . as many countries . . . middle . . . let’s say middle income and poorer countries have gotten richer, the people have gotten happier. More people say they’re contented with their lives. They’re achieving their objectives. Their incomes are good. You can’t underestimate income and also good family relationships and health . . . good health, and you know the basics.
Recorded On: 9/14/07
The rich are always more satisfied with life, Kohut says.
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