Around 80,000 people around the world answered a questionnaire that gauged what they valued most in life. Their responses were centralized and normalized by the OECD Better Life Index, and used to design an infographic. Labeled over each of the 180 countries, you can see what’s the dominant life priority of the population.
The happiest countries in the world can be found in South America, according to a previous poll run by Gallup. On the opposite side, United States residents are among the most miserable, scored the same as Uzbekistan and Kenya. It’s not all about the wealth, apparently. In the OECD infographic for instance, the dominant life priority is “life satisfaction”. Most people in South America, however, rate “education” as a top priority.
In Europe, priorities seem to be mixed. Central Europe wants “life satisfaction”, Western Europe holds “health” as the prime goal, while the poorest countries in the area, war struck Ukraine or Albania, think “income” matters the most to them.
Central America is just as diverse. Honduras and Belize, ridden by gangs and crime, need “safety”; Nicaraguans want “work-life balance”, while Haiti – where 85,000 people are still homeless following the 2010 quake – thinks “housing” is the top life priority.
Simply put, people desire what they lack the most in life, whether a roof above their head, money or inner peace. But is this a never ending chain, with one need and desire rising as soon as the former is satisfied? Wealthy countries aren’t necessarily the happiest – far from it. So, if you’re life goal is mostly material, you might want to meditate on that option. Life is short. Life is sacred. Make the most of it.