Happiness Index 2012-2019

Happiness Index 2012-2019

The findings portrayed in this report concludes the eighth annual Happiness Index Report since the 2012 baseline Happiness Index study by the Bureau of Market Research (Pty) Ltd (BMR) (Joubert & Poalses, 2012).  On demand of industry, the BMR commenced with an annual Happiness Index study in 2012 with the intention of generating research intelligence in support of business decision-making.  From 2012 to 2018 this study was commissioned by the BMR Behavioural and Communication Research Division Projects Committee, constituting corporate syndicate members.  Research involving happiness measures, satisfaction with life measures, meaning of life measures and well-being measures remain topical on a local and global level.  The BMR accordingly decided to continue tracking these measures.


A synopsis of the happiness antecedents measured from 2012 to 2019 is presented in the table below. As of 2013 additional construct measurements were introduced to expand the insightful offerings of the Happiness Index.  The range of colours represent the year-to-year trends, with dark green being most favourable followed by the lighter greens, then yellow, orange and lastly red being most negative.  It should be noted that the figures displayed represent overall trends, and any interpretation thereof is general in nature, as significant age cohort and, in some instances, gender differences are evident.  Disaggregated analyses and interpretations are presented and discussed throughout the comprehensive research report.

Upon close examination, it is evident that the number of red and orange identifiers have increased since 2012, depicting increased strain.  It should be noted that for some antecedents a higher score implies less strain and more happiness, whereas other antecedents require a lower score to indicate the same.  The overall state of happiness has consequently changed over the last eight years with the number of respondents expressing positive sentiments declining on almost all of the happiness antecedents.  Ambivalent states have improved considerably during 2019.  However, given the declined positive general mood and increased negative general mood, the ambivalent general mood rating in fact implies that respondents  are reaching a stage where they know exactly how they feel with greater confidence, namely a negatively inclined emotive state compared to previous years, without a sense of ambivalence about it.  The most positive happiness antecedents in 2019 is that of Locus of Control (LoC) and present standing in society, and it is noteworthy that internal LoC tends to increase as other happiness antecedents decrease.  A detailed explication of each respective happiness antecedent is presented in the comprehensive research report.

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