Iceland residents enjoy highest life satisfaction


93 per cent of people in Iceland are most satisfied with their life, according to the latest annual OECD report. The country’s life satisfaction is matched by Switzerland and Denmark, with a score of 7.5 out of 10, although Denmark’s fell slightly between 2007 and 2014. Iceland’s, on the other hand, increased over the same period.

Over 9 in 10 (91 per cent) of people in Great Britain reported being satisfied with their family life in 2012, while over three quarters (76 per cent) in the UK said they felt safe walking alone at night in the area where they lived in 2012.

People in Norway, though, felt the safest (89 per cent), while people in Greece were the least likely to feel safe (47 per cent).
Overall, people in Korea were the least satisfied (65 per cent).

Although people with higher income generally have higher life satisfaction, over time an increase in income (beyond a certain point) does not improve life satisfaction scores, notes the OECD, with satisfaction falling during the first years following the financial crisis.

For over half of the OECD countries, life satisfaction has still not recovered to pre-downturn levels. However, all of these countries except Greece have shown an increase in GDP per capita.

According to OECD data, the UK has shown an increase in GDP per capita of nearly 5 per cent and no change in life satisfaction score (6.8 out of 10) between 2007 and 2014 (ONS data shows that life satisfaction in the UK increased between 2011 and 2014). This compares with the OECD average, which shows an increase in GDP per capita of 14 per cent but a decrease in life satisfaction of around 1 per cent.