The recent publication of this year’s World Values survey shows that the world is getting happier. The survey is simple, but revealing and you can download much data here.
Two aspects are particularly interesting:
- In general the Human Development trend points towards stronger secular-rational values and stronger self-expression values.
- There is a diminishing marginal return to having more money – in other words, wealth is important for survival (you need a minimum of food, shelter, etc) but is not so important for happiness.
I particularly like the second finding (which is not that new, but increasingly proven) because the chart (above) looks like the financier’s efficient frontier in which it is OK to take a bit of risk to obtain a higher return, but there soon comes a point after which more risk does not result in a higher expected return.