A Pew Research Center survey finds that people in emerging nations now rival those in advanced economies in their self-reported well-being (2014). The Pew poll asks respondents to measure, on a scale from zero to ten, how good their lives are. In 2007, 57% of respondents in rich countries were counted as happy; in emerging markets the share was 33%; in poor countries only 16%. But in 2014, 54% of rich-country respondents counted themselves as happy, whereas in emerging markets the percentage increased to 51%.
Wealth also has a significant effect on who is happy after market reforms. Individuals with higher incomes, more education, more key household goods and paid employment are more satisfied with their lives than people who are less well-off. Other characteristics also matter, however. Women tend to be happier than men. And there is a life-cycle effect: married people are more satisfied than unmarried individuals and middle-aged people tend to report lower well-being than both younger and older people (Pew, 2014).
In India, the highest rated aspect is their social life (69%) followed closely by their health, family and religion (68% each). In nearly every country surveyed in Asia the lowest ratings go to either their present job (regional median of 60%) or their standard of living (58%).
The survey was conducted in 43 countries among 47,643 respondents from March 17 to June 5, 2014. The overall relationship between life satisfaction and GDP per capita noted in the survey is consistent with what other research has found. However, the exact curve of the logarithmic regression line and magnitude of the coefficients depends on what countries are included in the analysis.