A Temporal Cross-Country Analysis of Population Subgroups
Denmark’s top position in various rankings of country happiness is well-documented. This study goes beyond the national average comparisons and investigates whether Denmark’s top position is also found when we disaggregate data in line with social categories often used within the social sciences. The central measure is the empirical probability that a given population subgroup in Denmark has significantly higher happiness compared to another country’s similar subgroup in a given year. All five rounds of the European Social Survey are used but only the sixteen countries that were surveyed in each of the five rounds are included in this study. The results show that Denmark’s position at the top of the happiness scale is also robust when we look at population subgroups, but not in the sense that Denmark dominates all countries for all years. Instead, a modified version of robustness is necessary; Denmark very often has significantly higher happiness levels than in other countries, only sometimes has the same happiness levels as in other countries, very rarely is it dominated by other countries, and finally it is never dominated by other countries in all 5 years for a given subpopulation characteristic. This conclusion is quite insensitive to the applied SWB measure and the applied significance level.
Social Indicators Research, 2014, Vol 118, Issue 2, p. 759-774