11/05/2007 - Throughout much of the world, rising incomes are improving national conditions and increasing life satisfaction. While people in rich countries generally remain happier with their lives, the rest of the world is catching up, and looking into the future, people from poor and middle income countries are the most likely to think their quality of life will improve in the coming years. Citizens from these countries are also the most likely to favor the key tenets of economic globalization, welcoming both international trade and multinational corporations.
Meanwhile, in economically advanced nations, such as the United States, Japan, and throughout Western Europe, the picture is a bit different. Economic growth has been relatively modest, evaluations of national conditions have grown more negative, and these publics have grown apprehensive about the global economy.
Moreover, personal well-being has reached a plateau in many wealthy nations. Citizens of these countries remain happier with their lives than do those from poorer nations, but there has been little improvement in recent years. Generally, when explaining the way people feel about their current lives, a country's wealth is key, however when explaining improvement in personal well-being over time, a country's economic growth is a stronger predictor.
Read the full report Global Views on Life Satisfaction, National Conditions, and The Global Economy on the Pew Global Attitudes Project Web site.