By Michelle Dong
Recently, Ms. McMillan gave a presentation about her trip to Denmark over the summer, where she explored why the Danes are consistently ranked among the happiest people in the world.1 At the end of the assembly, students reflected on their own happiness and anonymously responded to the question “On a scale of 1-10, where 10 is the happiest possible life and 1 is the worst possible life, how happy are you on a daily basis?” on a notecard.
I thought that it would be interesting to quantify the data collected from the assembly; thus, I generated two charts based on the responses on how happy we consider ourselves. A total of 325 responses from students and faculty were included in this analysis. The distribution was approximately normal, with a mean of 6.52. If we were to compare the results of this analysis with that of the World Happiness Report (Figure 2.7), HB’s happiness level would fall between France (ranked 24th; 6.592) and Taiwan (6.446).
It is important to take into account that while the sample population is large, the results are reflective of a singular moment in time and are only representative of the HB population. In addition, as everyone has a different definition of happiness, the data is by no means conclusive.
1 Denmark was considered the second happiest country (after Finland) according to the 2019 World Happiness Report. In contrast, the United States is ranked 19th.