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Q: truly happy ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: truly happy
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: qpet-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 09 Feb 2003 16:14 PST
Expires: 11 Mar 2003 16:14 PST
Question ID: 159222
What is the % of individuals in the US that are considered to be truly
(I read somewere 15 - 20 % are considered by psychologists to be truly
happy, not just temporary)
Subject: Re: truly happy
Answered By: juggler-ga on 09 Feb 2003 20:49 PST
Rated:3 out of 5 stars

There are quite a few different claims being made about the percent of
Americans who are "truly happy" or "very happy." It's probably a good
idea to visit each of the links below to get a complete picture of the
claims being made.

From the book "Happiness is an Inside Job" by John Powell:

"Professionals estimate that only 10 to 15 percent of Americans think
of themselves as truly happy."
Source: Happiness Is an Inside Job, page 4, scanned by


From Modern Maturity:

"In 1957, the National Opinion Research Center asked Americans this
deceptively simple question: How happy are you with your life?
Thirty-five percent of our countrymen pronounced themselves 'very
happy'—and that was the high-water mark. The number slipped to 30
percent in 1994."
Hosted by


From David Myers' "Happiness," excerpted from Psychology 6th edition,
2001, Worth Publishers, N.Y.:

"The average American is now twice as rich but not a bit happier. In
1957, some 35 percent said they were 'very happy,' as did slightly
fewer--32 percent--in 1998."
Visit for additional discussion:

Also see:
WHO IS HAPPY? By David G. Myers' and Ed Diener,
hosted by University of Vermont:


From a Hilton press release:

"According to a survey of 1,000 adults commissioned by Hilton Hotels
Corp., 66 percent of Americans are very or extremely satisfied both
emotionally and spiritually. And more than half of us (53 percent) are
very or extremely satisfied professionally as well."

Hosted by


A web page called "Happiness Series" cites a variety of statistics:

 "For instance, Dennis Wholey (author of Are You Happy?) says that
experts he consulted estimate that only 20 percent of Americans are

 "For instance, in respected national surveys about 35% of Americans
report being very happy, another 55% pretty happy, and only 10% not
too happy. [Myers, 1992, p. 25]"

"The Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan...

Extremely Happy 20% 
Quite Happy 46% 
A Little Happy 27%
Neutral 4% 
A Little Unhappy 2%
Quite Unhappy 1%
Extremely Unhappy 0% 
TOTAL 100%"

Source: "Happiness Series," hosted by Geocities:

For comparison of happiness in the U.S. versus other countries, see
the article

"Science Tracks the Good Life: It turns out the Bluebird of Happiness
roosts in Denmark":

"The United States is the fifth-happiest nation"
Hosted by: San Francisco Chronicle


From Professor Ed Diener, University of Illinois:
"Our work from around the world suggests that most people are happy,
not unhappy. A minority of respondents are basically unhappy, and a
smaller percentage are actually depressed. The average person is
slightly to moderately happy - it is also rare for people to remain
elated or extremely happy for long. We hypothesize that humans might
be predisposed to mild happiness. "


General page:
National rankings


Finally for some general discussion (along with more statistics) see
the following sites:

"Happiness" on

"Subjective Emotional Well-Being" by Ed Diener, Richard E. Lucas,
hosted by University of Illinois:

"Happiness" by David Cortesi, hosted by

search terms included: happiness, "truly happy", "percent of
americans", "americans are happy", "very happy", "say they are happy",
"subjective well being", satisfaction

I hope this helps.
qpet-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars

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