Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools


You are here: Home / News / Who are the happiest Americans ?

Who are the happiest Americans ?

Faculty Associate John Robinson tracks trends from 1965 to 2010

Writing in the Pacific Standard, Tom Jacobs gives a resume of a paper by Prof. John Robinson which identifies a group of Americans who are "the most happy . . . those fortunate folks who have little or no excess time and yet seldom feel rushed." This represents a group of 8 to 12 percent of Americans whose "happiness level" is 12 to 25 percent higher than most Americans'.

"That’s just one fascinating nugget from a paper that contradicts a lot of conventional wisdom - including the assumption that, as they struggle with demanding jobs, financial pressures, and family obligations, Americans are feeling more and more time pressure," Jacobs writes.

The paper, published in November 2012 in Social Indicators Research, found that, " Counter to the popular societal consensus on an increasingly time-pressured society . . . respondent reports of feelings of being “always rushed” declined by 6–9 points from those reported in 2004. The decline was found both among employed and unemployed respondents, indicating it was not simply a function of higher unemployment."

See the complete Pacific Standard article

See the post on the Wall Street Journal blog

See the paper in Social Indicators Research