Statistically speaking, Latvians appear to be less than overjoyed

Take note – story published 4 years and 6 months ago

Figures recently released by Eurostat suggest that Latvians are, if not necessarily the most miserable people in Europe, perhaps the least happy.

“Overall, how satisfied are you with your life these days?” people across the European Union (EU) were asked.

What a question to ask.

"In 2018, over 62% of people aged 16 and over in the European Union reported being happy all of the time (14%) or most of the time (48%) over the past four weeks, while 12% were rarely (8%) or never happy (2%)," said the suspiciously upbeat European statistics agency.

"Compared with 2013, the share of happy people in the EU increased by over 2 percentage points (60%)," it added with a perkiness that makes us feel a little nauseous, to be honest.

To measure people’s happiness, respondents were asked to rank their frequency of being happy in the past four weeks on the following scale: ‘all of the time’, ‘most of the time’, ‘some of the time’, ‘a little of the time’ or ‘none of the time’.

Guess which one we went for.

"Looking at the extremes, Spain recorded the highest share of people that were happy all of the time (29%), while a similar share of people in Latvia (28%) reported being happy rarely or never over the last four weeks," Eurostat said.

"Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria and Finland have the happiest people: over three quarters of people (76% in each country) claimed to feel happy all or most of the time over the last four weeks. The next happiest individuals are in Luxembourg (74% of people), Spain (72%) and Denmark (70%)."

Well, hooray for them.

"In contrast, the frequency of being happy is the lowest in Latvia (where 31% of people reported being happy all or most of the time) and Bulgaria (35%), followed by Croatia (42%), Lithuania (45%), Greece and Romania (both 46%)."

If people write such things about you, and then gossip about it to the rest of Europe, it is hardly surprising that you are not exactly full of the joys of spring. Particularly when it is November. And it starts to snow. And there is a hole in your sock.

You can read the full data online, if you have nothing better to do with your life.

As far as we are concerned the statistics are misleading. We Latvians do actually crack a smile on occasion and have been known to laugh when it is absolutely necessary.


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