Ruut Veenhoven
In Diener, E., Oishi, S. & Tay, L. (Eds), Handbook of Well-being, Noba Scholar Handbook series: Subjective well-being, DEF Publishers, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, DOI:
, 16 pages

Subjective well-being is a main goal in modern society, thus it is worth knowing 1) how subjective well-being differs across nations, 2) how it develops over time, 3) what the determinants of subjective well-being in nations are and 4) what the consequences of more or less well-being are. In this chapter, I focus on one particular aspect of subjective well-being, that is, life-satisfaction. I take stock of the research on this matter, drawing on the World Database of Happiness. This reveals the following patterns: a) life-satisfaction differs much across nations, b) average life-satisfaction has risen over the past decade in most nations, while inequality in life-satisfaction in nations decreased, c) several societal determinants of life-satisfaction have been identified, many of which are part of modernity, and, d) high life-satisfaction in a nation has several positive effects and pursuit of greater happiness fits as such with wider policy aims. Key words: happiness, life-satisfaction, subjective well-being, comparative, cross-national, policy implication

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