Factors Predicting the Subjective Well-Being of Nations

  • Ed Diener
  • Marissa Diener
  • Carol Diener
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 38)


Subjective well-being (SWB) in 55 nations, reported in probability surveys and a large college student sample, was correlated with social, economic, and cultural characteristics of the nations. The SWB surveys, representing nations that include three fourths of the earth’s population, showed strong convergence. Separate measures of the predictor variables also converged and formed scales with high reliability, with the exception of the comparison variables. High income, individualism, human rights, and societal equality correlated strongly with each other, and with SWB across surveys. Income correlated with SWB even after basic need fulfillment was controlled. Only individualism persistently correlated with SWB when other predictors were controlled. Cultural homogeneity, income growth, and income comparison showed either low or inconsistent relations with SWB.


Life Satisfaction Social Comparison Income Growth Social Indicator Research World Development Report 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ed Diener
    • 1
  • Marissa Diener
    • 2
  • Carol Diener
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Illinois ChampaignUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family and Consumer StudiesUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of IllinoisUrbana-ChampaignUSA

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