Measuring and dating happiness
The sub-bars show, tentatively, what share of a country’s overall score can be explained by each of the six factors in Table 2.1.
The sub-bars are calculated by multiplying average national data for the period 2015-2017 for each of the six factors (minus the value of that variable in Dystopia) by the coefficient on this variable in the first equation of Table 2.1.
The sub-bars show the estimated extent to which each of six factors - levels of GDP, life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom, and corruption - contribute to making life evaluations higher in each country than they are in Dystopia, a hypothetical country that has values equal to the world’s lowest national averages for each of the six factors (see FAQs: What is Dystopia? They have no impact on the total score reported for each country, but instead are just a way of explaining for each country the implications of the model estimated in Table 2.1.
They are then asked to rate their own current lives on that 0 to 10 scale.
First we calculate the number of years by which healthy life expectancy in Brazil exceeds that in the country with the lowest life expectancy.
Then we multiply this number of years by the estimated Table 2.1 coefficient for life expectancy.
A sample size of 2,000 to 3,000 is large enough to give a fairly good estimate at the national level.
This is confirmed by the 95% confidence intervals shown at the right-hand end of each country bar.