What can data tell us about happiness

Hannah Yan Han
Apr 20, 2017 · 3 min read

To continue from previous post on World Happiness Report, today I’m looking into happiness disparities among regions.

According to the survey, world’s happiest country in 2016 was Denmark and the unhappiest country was Burundi.

Happiness by region

When we go up the scale of happiness, countries in these regions stand out: North America, Western Europe, ANZ.

In search of the happiness countries

And we see happier countries tend to be better off on social-economic metrics too. The measures themselves made me curious, as they almost seems to be individual-focused, as we don’t see country-level metrics like political stability.

Distribution of happiness score

Happy to an different extent

We observed:

  • North and South America appear to be most happy on average, followed by Europe, Asia, Africa and Middle East
  • Africa and Middle East has a high outlier: Isreal
  • Latin America and Carribeans has a low outlier: Haiti

Relation between happiness and its drivers

To understand how individual drivers relate to happiness score, we model linear trend line of each country and label some of the outliers by region

Economy vs Happiness
Family vs Happiness
Freedom vs Happiness
Life expectancy vs Happiness
Trust vs Happiness
Generosity vs Happiness

We can observe corruption and generosity have weaker correlation with happiness compared to other factors.

Clustering countries by socialeconomic factors

Next we can do k-means clustering on countries’ socialeconomic factors.

the countries formed 6 clusters

Cluster 1 contain Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa, cluster 2 are Latin America, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, cluster 3 contain Western Europe and the affluent part of Middle East and Asia, cluster 4 contains moreLatin American and Caribbean as well as Central Europe, cluster 5 contains more European countries and cluster 6 are mostly African countries.

This is #day17 of my #100dayprojects on data science and visual storytelling. Full code on my github. Thanks for reading and welcome to send me ideas and suggestions.

Hannah Yan Han

Written by

#100daysproject on data science and visual storytelling ✈️🗺️

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