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The World Happiness Report Explains What Makes People Happy (Fast Company)

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Columbia University’s Earth Institute took on the ambitious goal of surveying the state of happiness in the world, and put out the findings in the first World Happiness Report. The report, commissioned by the United Nations Conference on Happiness, contains over 100 pages of musings on world happiness. It may come as a surprise, but gross domestic product is not the ultimate indicator of happiness. Higher living standards correspond with increased happiness, but not all. The level of happiness in the U.S. hasn’t changed while living standards have risen over the last 50 years. Richer people are happier on average than poorer people, but the unemployed are not less happy from the loss of income, but rather the loss of self-esteem and workplace social life. And married people across the world say they’re happier than single counterparts.