Would More Social Justice Make You Happier?

Would More Social Justice Make You Happier?

via the Greater Good by Jill Suttie

While there is a lot that we can do to increase our own well-being, our social and political environments play an important role in our happiness, too. In particular, research suggests that supportive government policies like health care coverage and parental leave make a difference in how we feel in our everyday lives.

Now, a new study finds that people who live in countries that promote greater social justice tend to be happier.

In this study, researchers Salvatore Di Martino and Isaac Prilleltensky used data from the EU Social Justice Index, which scores countries on indicators like their equity around education and health care for ethnic minorities and the poor, unemployment levels for both native-born and non-native-born people, non-discrimination policies, gender representation in government, and “intergenerational justice” (meaning, low public debt, good pension policies, and low greenhouse gas emissions per capita, for example).

They compared these scores to how satisfied Europeans are with life, based on interviews with nearly 170,000 individuals across 28 countries at six different times between 2008 and 2017. The researchers made sure to rule out contributing factors like a person’s age, gender, or occupation, or a country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Their analyses showed that not only does a country’s social justice contribute to people’s happiness, but it is the second strongest predictor of their life satisfaction. Only a country’s social capital (the strength of family relationships and larger social networks, the level of trust in institutions, and the degree of civic participation) mattered more to people’s well-being.

“Social relations are important for people’s happiness—one of the most important things,” says Di Martino. “But people should also realize that the conditions surrounding them—like living in a place that gives them opportunities or resources—is also very important.”

… keep reading the full & original article HERE

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