People are happier today than they were before the worldwide recession hit, according to an Ipsos survey of 19,000 adults in 24 countries, reports the Economist. Those calling themselves "happy" numbered 77% in the poll, up from 74% in 2007, and those who labeled themselves "very happy" was up 2 points to 22%. "Very happy" results—which the pollsters said were more important—were up the most in developing nations, rising 16 percentage points in Turkey, 10 in Mexico, and five in India.
But developing nations also were responsible for the biggest drops in happiness, declining in Indonesia, Brazil, and Russia. Perhaps most surprisingly, "very happy" results rose 6 points in Japan, despite the tsunami and nuclear accidents. In fact, the study found that happiness does not correspond to wealth, with Europeans considerably gloomier than the world average. (Read more happiness index stories.)