Wednesday, July 6th 2011 - 06:15 UTC

Chile among South America’s least happy nations; Venezuela top of the list

Though Chile has one of South America’s strongest economies, a recent study of happiness rates it second-to-last in the region, leading experts to assert that national happiness is not determined by a nation’s wealth or economic development.

Chilean fans in the Copa America don’t seem unhappy

The survey as conducted in Chile, Perú, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela. Happiness in Chile was on par with happiness in the sample’s poorest country: Bolivia.

“Money does not determine happiness,” Pablo González Vicente, president of Cimagroup, the marketing analysis firm that conducted the study, said to El Mercurio.

“What is more important is the level of inequality in countries: in general, the countries with the most equal distribution of wealth are happier than those with a lot of inequality.”

While there was little correlation between wealth and happiness, the study did determine other factors that appeared to influence national satisfaction.

People who live in warmer climates, for example, tend to be happier than those in colder ones, the study found. Within Chile, the cities in the warmer north were on average happier than those in the south, where the weather is much colder.

Overall, the analysis found that people were most satisfied with their family life and least satisfied with their financial situation.

Financial satisfaction, however, seemed to be determined not by the amount of money a person had, but instead by their expectations of what that money should mean.

For example, Venezuela, which the study determined was the happiest country overall, had a 56% economic satisfaction rate. Chileans, on the other hand, were wealthier but had a lower average satisfaction rate of about 33%.

Along with climate, family and finances, researchers found that happiness was influenced by a person satisfaction with his or her love life, health, job and physical appearance.

The importance of these factors varied between countries. For Chileans, personal finances were the most important; for Bolivians job satisfaction ranked the highest; and for Colombians and Peruvians love and relationships had the biggest impact.

“Even though we share the same language and may have similar histories, we are not the same,” González said of the results. There is no one indicator of happiness, he said. Instead, it seems, “every country has its own way of looking at life.”

By Adeline Bash – The Santiago Times


19 comments Feed

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1 wangito (#) Jul 06th, 2011 - 01:03 pm Report abuse
He who said that money can't buy happyness, most probably never had any money.
2 Forgetit87 (#) Jul 06th, 2011 - 01:42 pm Report abuse
That clown makeup reminds me of John Wayne Gacy.
3 Fido Dido (#) Jul 06th, 2011 - 01:56 pm Report abuse
I thought it was obama. Anyway, Chileans are okay people, but compare to let say Brazilians, they are boring. They don't know how to party, even we Dutch do it better and is another reason not to stay long in Santiago. Even compare them to their “Hispanic” cousins or whatever, Ba As and Lima beats them with fun.
4 Marcos Alejandro (#) Jul 06th, 2011 - 04:07 pm Report abuse
Are those two clowns in the picture above Sergio V. and ManRod? :-))
5 Artillero601 (#) Jul 06th, 2011 - 04:24 pm Report abuse
“I thought it was obama ... ” Please don't make fun of Mr O! Are you ready for 4 more years??
6 Marcos Alejandro (#) Jul 06th, 2011 - 04:47 pm Report abuse
:-))) Please keep the “Bushes” in Texas or whatever all those clowns live.
7 Fido Dido (#) Jul 06th, 2011 - 05:23 pm Report abuse
Are you ready for 4 more years??

Yes, I'm ready for 4 more years of Patty Obozo the clown thought I don't mind the other clowns like Romney. None of them are serious about solving the problems. They fit perfectly in Santiago.
8 stick up your junta (#) Jul 06th, 2011 - 06:05 pm Report abuse
They don't know how to party, even we Dutch do it better

Bet they could save people from slaughter better than you Dutch

Srebrenica massacre
9 Artillero601 (#) Jul 06th, 2011 - 06:23 pm Report abuse
@6 No so fast Marquitos ..... Governor Perry is running, another cowboy from Texas in the White House?

@7 Please don't tell me that you like Bachmann ??
10 ElaineB (#) Jul 06th, 2011 - 09:02 pm Report abuse
I think it is a cultural attitude. I love my Chilean friends but they are never happier than when they are having a good moan about something. lol A bit like the the elderly English, they complain about everything and take comfort from it. : )

It is interesting that when you ask a Chilean how they are, it is nearly always answered 'so-so' like they don't want to admit they may be feeling GREAT! I find it rather sweet.

It is true that the Argentines like to party, at least the wealthier and young ones do.

I think it is all about undertsanding the culture and mind-set of a country.
11 Sergio Vega (#) Jul 07th, 2011 - 04:28 am Report abuse
First, probably the researcherr of this “study” is an ignorant, because he can't compare the Venezuelan “monos” that are falling down starving and are very happies hearing their big monkey Huguito....with us that are unhappies because we live concerned about our family´s future and working to get a good life it....
Yes, we are boring people and bad party makers, we are just labourers, family carers and word no much others can say in Latam.
Now, what is it much important? to be a happy monkey or an unhappy human decide for you ...for me the last one is the best....Ah! I live on extreme southern Chile with a verey cold climate, maybe taht´s why I choose the last alternative....
4@ Maybe you'r so happy because the “dry hole” found by YPF and the good “fobal” games results.....that no need that kind of disguises for a long time.....LOL
12 Artillero601 (#) Jul 07th, 2011 - 01:28 pm Report abuse

so Venezuela has “monos” now? wow ! really?
13 ManRod (#) Jul 07th, 2011 - 03:25 pm Report abuse
these “studies” do have different outcomes. I have seen some in the last years, whereas Colombians are the happiest ones, and most unhappy ones are Peruvians, followed by Argentinians, which stand no way behind Chileans regarding moaning about everything. If you are honest, you will admit. There is a real “moaning culture” , specially in Buenos Aires. No other city in LA boasts so much about having the highest density of psychologists.
14 nitrojuan (#) Jul 07th, 2011 - 03:58 pm Report abuse
and there aren´t the most unhappy and resentful people in America; the falklanders....Shoul it be that Malvinas isn´t a country as they think? Should it be an English colonial enclave?
15 ElaineB (#) Jul 07th, 2011 - 05:24 pm Report abuse
@ 13. Yeah, I don't get the psychologist culture that is a a regular feature of daily life. I BsAs friend of mine attends a psychologist three times a week and has for the last ten years! She is always compaining about not having enough money so I suggested maybe she could cut back on the psychologist. She was aghast at the idea and couldn't understand how I lived without one. Surely that is what family is for, you can have a bit of a moan and its free!
16 Marcos Alejandro (#) Jul 07th, 2011 - 06:12 pm Report abuse
11 Sergio Vega
Actually you're right, I am not in favor of oil exploration in beautiful Argentinean waters. How's the Rover's bussiness with the English lately? :-)
17 lsolde (#) Jul 08th, 2011 - 09:34 am Report abuse
l know quite a few Chileans & none of them look unhappy.
@13 ManRod,
yes you are right, next week someone else will do another survey with a different result.
18 Forgetit87 (#) Jul 09th, 2011 - 04:00 pm Report abuse
#11 couldn't really be nothing but the work of a vulgar Pinochetist.
19 cabezadepomelo (#) Jul 10th, 2011 - 11:07 am Report abuse
Chileans are not to blame for their own unhappiness. Any one would feel alike with neighbours like the Argentineans. Ask people from Uruguay. No matter how hight the Andes are, no matter how broad the Rio de la Plata is. They will come to get you!

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