Happiness With Money

World Happiness Report has been published by the Gallup Institute, an American-based research company, since 2012. Participants from 146 different countries are contacted by phone and questions are asked.
Such as, ‘Tell me about your most positive and negative feelings yesterday.’, ‘What does tomorrow mean to you?’. The obtained data are scored according to certain parameters and quantitative results are reached. The main purpose of the research is to make people’s happiness the goal of policy-makers.

In the published 2022 report, critical positive emotions include laughter, having fun, enjoyment and learning or doing something interesting; negative emotions were determined as worry, sadness and anger.
Emotions that differ between countries are associated with very different life experiences, circumstances and quality of life. To give a striking example, the effect of money on happiness has always been the subject of discussion. Books and articles have been written on this subject and many philosophical ideas have been expressed. The report shows us that countries with high GDP per capita are not the happiest. People do not evaluate happiness only according to economic conditions. It gains importance in different evaluations such as healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, social supports, generosity, perception of corruption.

Finland continues to occupy the top spot, one of five Nordic countries in the top ten.

The graph shows the ten happiest countries and the trend of GDP per capita. Our expectation is that people with the highest income will be happier. People living in countries such as the United States of America, Qatar, United Arab Emirates should be included in this chart. But the results don’t say that.
The three happiest countries are not even in the top 10 in per capita income. Finland, which has been at the top for the last five years, is 22nd in per capita GDP. Another remarkable result is that there are five Nordic countries among the ten happiest countries. Researches show that Nordic countries give importance to human value more than money. For example, they adhere strictly to the 9 to 5 working rule in business life. When there is someone working after 5 o’clock, ‘Is the employee’s capacity low?’, ‘Is she/he given extra work due to wrong planning?’ such questions are asked. It is tried to establish a balance between the social and business life of people.

Turkey has been the 112th happy(!) country in the 2022 report. It has a GDP per capita of $30,253 and ranks 49th. When we examine the details of the report, the biggest unhappiness factor of Turkish people is the freedom to make life choices and perceptions of corruption. These two factors are the main parts of the chain. In a country where free life is limited, corruption increases, and as corruption increases, money stays with the rich. The people of the country become poorer, their purchasing power decreases.
And unhappy ending…

I don’t know what money means to you, but it’s certainly not insignificant. The happiest countries are well above the average GDP per capita level. It is wrong to equate happiness with economy alone. It is necessary not to ignore many important factors such as a balanced social life, working conditions that will make you feel valuable, and peaceful and just country policies. Happiness is not a phenomenon that can be measured with a ruler, it may be wrong to compress it between numerical values. Despite this, this and similar reports published every year are very important for countries to change their policies.

Money can dispel unhappiness but not brings happiness.