Mean Happiness Infographic: Which Countries Are Happiest?

How happy are we? Does the level of happiness vary by country over time? By events in a country?

GOOD and OPEN collaborated with Dorian Orange to demonstrate our mean levels of happiness by country, over time, via this animated infographic. The smiley faces represent, well, happiness, and the dips in the smile represent rising or lowering happiness. The authors used historical events (i.e., a truce with the IRA for Great Britain) to indicate a dip where happiness levels either rose or fell.

The creators write:

For decades, the World Database of Happiness has surveyed how happy people are—not at all happy, not very happy, quite happy, or very happy. As it turns out, most of us are mostly happy, even when things aren’t going so well. Here is a look at how happy people in various countries said they were (on average) over the last 30 years.

I like how they are trying to represent numbers as graphics, with side by side comparisons. I would like the animation to be a bit slower, though, as I found it hard to read the historical moments that led to a change in the mean happiness level. Either that, or a brighter font color.

Is your country listed in this animation? If so, how well do you believe it represents “happiness” in your country?

Please let me know what you think....