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Overall happiness has decreased almost everywhere over the last 3 months

We have seen a noticeable drop in life satisfaction over the last three months in almost all countries included in this week’s analysis. During the first six weeks of the survey from late March to early May, at least 60% of respondents in Finland, USA, Argentina, UK, Spain, Germany, Portugal and India indicated that they were satisfied with life (i.e. rated life satisfaction 7-10 on a scale of 1-10). The happiest people were found in Finland, where 70% said that they were satisfied with life overall.

As the virus spread further, more protection measures were introduced with job security affected for many, life satisfaction went down. Six weeks later, from early May to the present, only in the US and Argentina at least 60% of respondents still indicated high levels of life satisfaction. 

Most visible decline in overall happiness has been observed in Portugal, where the share of people indicating satisfaction went down by 22 percentage points from 49% to 27% between March to June. The decline was almost as sharp in Spain (59% vs. 39%). In Finland, just over half (56%) said they were satisfied with life (down from 70%). In the UK, the share of satisfied respondents went down from 60% to 50%. There was no change at all in Argentina and only a small decline in the reported happiness of our German and US respondents (3 percentage points). Interestingly, India was the only the country in our eight-country comparison where the reported life satisfaction had in fact increased slightly over this period, from 46% to 59%.

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