If you’re happy and you know it…

Recently I cam across an idea, which I thought would be interesting to investigate. I have been living in the north of Germany for the majority of my life and if you live up here, you know that the north tends to percieve itself as more happy than the rest of Germany. There is no real satisfying answer as to why this is, because the general approach of using the income as a rough proxy for happiness is out of line here, for the average net income is below the national average. So we just have to take it at face value.

However another outlier is the below average election outcome of the German right-wing party among the northern states. This caught my interest and I did a bit of research and some data analysis whether there is a correlation between percieved happiness and right-wing support. Checking the percieved happiness level of all the states in Germany (omitting Bremen) against the election outcome shows a clear trend between these factors. You can see the graph below.

What does it mean?

I find this correlation quite interesting. Now, since correlation does not imply causation, we can’t say being unhappy will lead you to sympathise with right-wing politics, or that supporting right-wing politics will leave you with a sinister outlook (even though this is what they try to achieve), however it does show a strong connection between them.

Maybe this trend can give a little insight as to how one can diminish the influence of right-wing support within the nation. Instead of trying to fight fire with fire (or shouting with shouting), we could try to increase the percieved happiness of the entire population and the allure of the right-wing loses its grasp.

So, maybe free yoga for everybody?

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