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The Economy is On the Rise. So Why Aren’t We Getting Happier?

Illustration by Christoph Niemann,
May 28, 2019

Throughout much of the world, the economy is on the rise, rates of unemployment are falling, and financial markets are up.

Yet, looking to the statistics today, something else is striking: We don’t seem to be getting happier.

The opinion research firm Gallup recently released results from an annual survey of 151,000 people in more than 140 countries studying people’s day-to-day emotions. The trend line over the course of the 13-year-old research project shows a significant increase in negative experiences, including worry, anger, sadness and stress.

In a new op-ed for The Globe and Mail, Kim Samuel makes the case that governments and societies around the world should be placing less emphasis on traditional measures of progress like Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and paying more attention to the strongest determinants of human well-being—including social connectedness.  The piece explores practical new ways we can do so.