Religion and Happiness in Nations

Maarten Berg and Ruut Veenhoven
Ethiek en Maatschappij, 2009, 12: 49-69, ISBN 1373-0975

Three questions are addressed in this paper: 1) Are people happier in nations where religion is prominent? 2) Does religious denomination matter in that context? 3) Are people less happy in religiously diverse nations?
Comparison of 142 nations around 2005 yields the following answers: 1) People tend to be less happy in the most religious nations. 2) Average happiness is higher the more Christians in the nations and lower the more Muslims or Buddhist. 3) Religious diversity is negatively related to happiness among most countries, but is slightly positively related to average happiness in western nations.

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