Posted by on November 9, 2017

This report, What Happiness Today Tells Us About the World Tomorrow, looks back over more than a decade of Gallup data on how people in more than 100 countries have rated their lives since 2007. The report reveals which countries today are significantly worse or better off than they were a decade ago, which ones are worse or better off than they were only a few years ago and which ones could be ready for change based on the more recent trends in their citizens’ life ratings. When people see their lives headed in the wrong direction, they want change. Recent research by London School of Economics academic George Ward shows that how people feel about their lives does influence how they vote in elections. In fact, he believes that subjective measures of well-being are better predictors of elections than questions about how people feel about the economy. Ward’s research focused on European democracies, but how people feel about their lives should matter to leaders of all countries. People’s ratings of their lives trended downward ahead of unrest in the Arab Uprising countries. The same was true with Ukraine in the two years leading up to the Euromaidan Revolution. Life ratings were down in the U.K. before Brexit and in the U.S. two years before the 2016 election.