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Indians among HAPPIEST people, Europeans unhappiest

Last updated on: February 20, 2012 08:08 IST

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In spite of economic woes and conflicts, the world is a happier place now than what it was in 2007 and Indians are among the happiest people on this planet, says a survey.

According to a poll conducted by global research company Ipsos, despite woes and conflicts, the world is a happier place than it was in 2007 as 22 per cent (up 2 points) of global citizens say they are "very happy" and the happiest people reside in Indonesia, India and Mexico.

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Image: Children march through a street carrying torches to mark the end of Ramadan in Jakarta
Photographs: Supri/Reuters

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While eight in 10 (77 per cent) citizens in 24 countries surveyed said they are 'happy' in their lives, one quarter (22 per cent) said they are 'very happy' -- a key measure that identifies comparative depth and intensity of happiness among country citizens and the world, the report said.

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Image: Dancers dressed in traditional attire sit on a cot during Navratri in Ahmedabad
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters

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On a national level, Indonesia has the highest proportion of happiest people with 51 per cent citizens reporting they are 'very happy', followed by India and Mexico (43 per cent) each.

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Photographs: Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters

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Brazil and Turkey shared the third position, where 30 per cent of citizens expressed their contentment, followed by Australia and the United States each at 28 per cent.

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On the other end, Hungary (6 per cent), South Korea (7 per cent) and Russia (8 per cent) have the lowest number of 'very happy' people, followed by Spain (11 per cent) and Italy (13 per cent).

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Regionally, Latin America has the greatest proportion of 'very happy' people (32 per cent), followed by North America (27 per cent).

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Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and Africa shared the third place with 24 per cent of 'very happy' people.

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Image: Team Canada fans dance and cheer during a hockey game
Photographs: Mike Cassese/Reuters

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Not surprisingly, it is citizens in Europe who drag the global average assessment of happiness downward as only one in six (15 per cent) say they are 'very happy'.

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The poll of 18,687 adults conducted from November 1 to November 15 last year also demonstrates that those who are married appear to be the happiest when compared to all other groups, especially those who are not married.

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Besides marriage, age and socio-economic factor also played an important role for determining the level of contentment among people.

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Photographs: Karoly Arvai/Reuters

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Those who are under the age of 35 are more likely to say they are 'very happy' than those who are in the age bracket of 35-49 across all countries surveyed.

Meanwhile, those with a high education and those with a high household income are among those most likely to be 'very happy'.

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The greatest improvements were found in Turkey (up 16 points since 2007) followed by Mexico (up 10 points), Australia (up 7 points), Japan (up 6 points) and India and Canada (each up 5 points).

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Image: A giant smile lights up Sydney's Harbour Bridge
Photographs: Reuters

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Of the 24 countries measured, 9 countries experienced increases in happiness intensity compared with 13 that dropped and two countries with no change.

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Those countries experiencing the greatest drop in happiness intensity were Brazil (down 9 points) followed by Indonesia (down 7 points), Russia (down 6 points) and South Africa (down 5 points).

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