Good news for a change. Despite the seemingly messed up state of our world people are generally happier than ever. The latest research which spans 17 years, 52 countries, and 350,000 people has concluded that happiness has increased in 40 of those counties between 1981 and 2007 and fell in only 12 countries. The rise in happiness is attributed to the economic growth in previously poor countires, democratization in other countries, and rising social tolerance for women and minority groups overall. The research also confirmed the obvious: people in rich countries are generally happier than those living in poor countries, and the very happiest citizens are those who live in societies which allow people the freedom to choose how to live their lives. (Associated Press)

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