March 21, 2023

special operation on did not make our fellow citizens feel less happy, the latest polls show . Most people who are satisfied with everything live in the south of the country, and there are fewer of them in megacities than in small towns. In the world, the inhabitants of Northern Europe enjoy life more than others. What our people need to be happy, Parliamentary Newspaper found out on the eve of the International Day of Happiness, which is celebrated on March 20.

Where do the happiest people live?

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Health, money, family

The Happiness Index has been measured by VTsIOM since 1990. All this time, Russians have been asked the same question: “Everything happens in life, both good and bad. But generally speaking, are you happy or not?

The index is calculated as the difference between the sum of positive (“definitely yes”, “rather yes”) and negative answers (“rather no”, “definitely not”) and is measured in points, the indicator can range from -100 to 100. The higher the value , the happier Russians feel.

In January 2023, 36 percent of Russian citizens called themselves “definitely happy,” and another 46 percent were “rather happy.” 14 percent of Russians consider themselves unhappy to some extent. The happiness index at the beginning of the year was 67 points, throughout 2022 it was lower only in May – 64 points, and higher – in the summer of last year, 70 points.

Thirty years ago, in February 1992, the lowest value of the happiness index was recorded – 6 points. The share of definitely happy people at that time was only two percent. Since then, the percentage of distinctly happy Russians has grown, hitting a high of 39 percent in October 2015.

The simplest things make people happy: health, the minimum necessary income for life and a family. If these three factors exist, then the person is already ready to consider himself happy, the director of VTsIOM told our publication .

Residents of megacities were less likely than residents of small cities to report being happy: in Moscow and St. Petersburg – 76 percent each, in other million-plus cities – 77 percent. In cities with a population of up to one hundred thousand people, 89 percent are happy. Most of all, life is enjoyed in the Southern Federal District – 87 percent, while residents of the North-West of the country most often consider themselves unhappy – 23 percent. There are also more happy people among the acquaintances of the inhabitants of the Southern and Far Eastern federal districts – 48 percent each. The fact that there are more unhappy people in their environment was more often reported in the Siberian Federal District – 16 percent.

The least happy are those who are more involved in the political agenda, read and watch opposition publications, Valery Fedorov is sure: “In this group, the level of unhappiness is the highest. So if you want to be happy, remember Professor Preobrazhensky’s advice: “Don’t read Soviet newspapers.” And cultivate your garden.”

concerned about GDP

The World Happiness Report has been prepared by the United Nations for many years. They evaluate life expectancy, GDP per capita, social support, the level of corruption, social trust, the development of charity and freedom in making key life decisions.

Finland has been ranked the happiest country in the world for the fifth consecutive year in 2022 data. The top five included Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland. Of the non-European countries, Israel and New Zealand made it to the top ten. Russia, compared with the data for 2021, has moved from the sixtieth line to the eightieth. What do they understand in happiness in Russian …

Instead of offended – prosperous

Happiness ministries work quite officially in some countries. For the first time, such an agency was created in Bhutan, where the population professes Buddhism. The authorities there considered it absolutely wrong to use the size of GDP as the main indicator – the success of the ministry’s work is assessed by the opinion of people.

Another country where a government department is responsible for happiness is the United Arab Emirates. The speaker suggested using their experience a few years ago : “The value here is in philosophy. Before the authorities in the UAE make a decision, it undergoes an examination in this ministry – whether it will be better for people and whether they will be happier. This is what we need to adopt.”

There is no federal ministry of happiness in Russia yet, but there are prototypes in the regions. For example, in Kamchatka, where the governor created this in 2020. “Officially, its full name is the Ministry of Social Welfare and Family Policy, but in short it is about happiness,” his press service quoted the head of the region as saying. – It is important for me to make the transition, to get away from the “ministry of the offended and destitute.”

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