Happy map %)
In The Xtian Science Monitor, 7 January 2008, Eric Weiner opines on University of Leicester psychologists who recently produced the world's first happy map.
Jean-Paul Sartre famously declared that "Hell is other people." Sartre got it wrong, or perhaps he was hanging out with the wrong people. The emerging science of happiness has found that the single biggest determinant of our happiness is the quantity and the quality of our relationships.Using data from the emerging science of happiness, they created a color-coded atlas of bliss, a topography of the human spirit, from Algeria to Zimbabwe. It's not climate or topography or some mysterious energy that is at work here, but national culture. Some cultures are simply better at producing happy citizens than others.
The map contains more than a few surprises. Iceland for instance is among the happiest in the world, despite a rather brutal climate and recording-breaking statistics for their consumption of fermented beverages. If only they had broken down their map by US locales. Perhaps Wisconsin, or even Chicago (current temp is 3 degrees), would have beaten Iceland?