Slightly more than half or 59 percent of residents of Latvia consider themselves happy, the public opinion research center SKDS Director Arnis Kaktins informed reporters today.
According to the findings of the SKDS survey, 19 percent of residents consider themselves to be very happy, and 40 percent say they are happy.
By contrast, 27 percent feel unhappy, and 10 percent very unhappy, while 4 percent had no opinion on the question.
Therefore, the average happiness index for Latvia, on a ten-point scale, is 6.84, said Kaktins.
According to these figures, Latvia is one of the unhappiest countries in the world. The happiest ones are Fiji, Colombia, Niger, and Saudi Arabia. In Europe, Finland is the happiest nation.
Based on data available to SKDS, France, Italy, and Greece are unhappier than Latvia.
In Latvia, the unhappiest groups of people are senior citizens, divorcees, and those who are widowed, as well as people who live alone and have lower levels of education. According to Kaktins, 56 percent of people who live alone say they do not feel happy. It was also observed that in general the higher the level of education, the happier the person is.
Every third resident of Latvia is afraid of loneliness, and 62 percent feel lonely now and then. Only 33 percent say that they never feel lonely.
According to the findings of the survey, unhappy people feel that they are not supported by the people around them. Of those who say they feel happy, none said that they are not supported by other people, while 21.5 percent of those who consider themselves unhappy note that they receive no support from other people.
Those who live alone rate their happiness levels as 5.92 on average, whereas those who live with one other person have an average score of 6.8. People who live in groups of three 6.9, and people who live with three or more persons - 7.36. People with children tend to be happier than childless people.
The survey concludes that having a family is important for one's happiness, and that people with children and married couples are happier than those who live alone, added Kaktins.