Applied Research in Quality of Life

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 251–259 | Cite as

The Paradoxical Negative Association between Subjective Well-Being and the Objective “Happiness Ranking” in Japan

  • Masanori KurokiEmail author


There are studies that rank the quality of life across regions or countries. These studies usually construct the quality-of-life indices from objective measures such as work-life balance, crimes rates, commuting time, and cost of living, and frequently appear in the press. For example, according to Forbes’ “ The World’s Happiest (And Saddest) Countries,” Norwegians, Danes, and Australians enjoy high quality of life. Among the US states, Gabriel et al. ( 2003) rank Wyoming as the highest quality-of-life state and New York as the lowest quality-of-life state. Recently, Sakamoto ( 2011), a professor at the Hosei Graduate School of Regional Policy Design released well-being indices for Japan’s 47 prefectures, which he called “Happiness Ranking.” He used a total of 40 objective indicators that could be classified as (1) life and family issues, (2) labor issues, (3) safety and security issues, and (4) medical care and health issues, in order to construct a single well-being index...


Life Satisfaction Suicide Rate Crime Rate Social Trust High Suicide Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I thank Todd Sorensen and two anonymous referees for helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V./The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsOccidental CollegeLos AngelesUSA

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