Australians are the happiest people in the world according to a survey undertaken by market researchers GFK NOP. The marketers conducted door-to-door surveys and interviews with 30,000 people in 30 countries. They asked respondents how satisfied they were with their overall quality of life. Forty-six percent of Australians proclaimed to be “very happy” and expressed optimism about their future. Following them in the “very happy” stakes was the USA (40 percent), Egypt (36 percent), India (34 percent) and the UK and Canada (32 percent). Hungary got the wooden spoon, finishing bottom of the happiness chart. Thirty-five percent of its citizens said they were either “disappointed” or “very unhappy”, followed by Russians at 30 percent.
The research demonstrated that money and age were key determinants in how happy people are. Although the study could not prove money could buy happiness, it did reveal a link between a lack of money and unhappiness. Less happy populations were found among lower income groups or the unemployed. The study suggested the older we become, the less happy we are. Globally, teenagers are the happiest people. The age group with the lowest levels of happiness was 50-59 – only 16 percent of those in their fifties said they were very happy. The things that make us happy include good health, financial security and a happy marriage. Material comforts such as cars, clothes and gadgets ranked comparatively low.
HAPPINESS: What makes you happy? What affects your quality of life most? Look at the items below and rank them in order of what makes you most happy.
___ Good health
|___ Things (cars, clothes, gadgets, etc.)
___ A stable marriage / relationship
___ Watching television
HAPPY OPINIONS: How far do you agree with these opinions on happiness? Talk about them with your partner(s).
|a.||A new study says Australians are the world’s happiest people.||T / F|
|b.||Interviewers conducted 30,000 telephone interviews.||T / F|
|c.||Egyptians and Indians were among the top five happiest populations.||T / F|
|d.||Hungary got the wooden spoon.||T / F|
|e.||The survey showed that money can buy happiness.||T / F|
|f.||Unemployed people were shown to be surprisingly happy.||T / F|
|g.||The survey found that the older we become, the happier we are.||T / F|
|h.||Materials comforts such as cars and clothes do not make us so happy.||T / F|
STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)
STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)
AFTER DISCUSSION: Join another partner / group and tell them what you talked about.
HAPPY DAYS: In pairs / groups, talk about your level of happiness throughout the day. What kinds of things make you happy or unhappy during the times written in the left hand column? What increases or decreases your happiness?
|TIME||% OF TIME
|THINGS THAT INCREASE HAPPINESS||THINGS THAT DECREASE HAPPINESS|
|Going to work / school|