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Happiest Germans live in Hamburg
Photo: DPA

Happiest Germans live in Hamburg

Published: 20 Sep 2011 13:48 GMT+02:00
Updated: 20 Sep 2011 13:48 GMT+02:00

Happy in Hamburg: People living in the northern port city are the most content Germans, according to a study published on Tuesday. While the eastern state of Thuringia has the grumpiest residents, overall the country is the happiest it's been in a decade.

“The Germans are more satisfied today than they have been for the last ten years,” said study director Professor Bernd Reffelhüschen in statement. The survey, called “The Happiness Atlas 2011,” was conducted in conjunction with the Allensbach polling institute, for logistics company Deutsche Post.

Plumbing the mood of 19 regions in Germany, Hamburg citizens recorded the highest level of happiness, ranking their feelings a positive 7.38 points from a possible ten.

Other regions with the jolliest Germans included Lower Saxony along the North Sea (7.14), and southern Bavaria (7.10). Residents in the eastern German states of Thuringia (6.45) and Brandenburg (6.56) were least satisfied with their lot in life.

Nonetheless, the difference in contentment between states belonging to former communist East Germany and the western states has shrunk to a mere 0.3 points. Twenty years ago, after the after the fall of the wall, the gap was 1.3 points.

Deutsche Post sponsored the survey with the aim of spurring social discussion about what's important in life.

“The significance of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the sole indicator of prosperity is increasingly criticised in science and politics. The Happiness Atlas 2011 helps us understand what is really important to the Germans for their life satisfaction,” said Jürgen Gerdes, Deutsche Post board member.

Although having a good salary was ranked among the study’s top ten happiness factors, the most important influences in determining satisfaction were good health, a stable marriage or relationship and spending time with friends and acquaintances.

Weekly sports activities and decision-making authority at work also played a part in determining overall well-being, along with the age of participants. Men and women aged 20 to 30 reported being happiest, while middle-aged Germans were less content.

But Germans older than 65 had happiness levels matching the those of 30-year-olds.

Data in the Happiness Atlas is based on an annual survey of 12,000 German households made since 1984.

The Local/emh

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Your comments about this article

14:24 September 20, 2011 by freechoice
Köln is number 1 in 3 categories!!
16:26 September 20, 2011 by melbournite
If they are the happiest here in Hamburg, how come noone smiles?
18:28 September 20, 2011 by Ludinwolf
lol Hannover is close to hamburg and people are just so unfriendly and moody that at the beginning i thought all the germans were like that... then discovered that is not. But hamburg with happiest people in the country... i don think so.
10:10 September 21, 2011 by trallallero
What ?!? In Thuringia the grumpiest ?!?

Believe me, lot of smiles and kindness here.
10:41 September 21, 2011 by So36
You people are mixing up happiness and being content with friendliness. I'm pretty sure people in Thuringia are friendlier than Brandenburgers.
10:48 September 21, 2011 by jimscott
I wasn,t aware there was such a thing as a happy German.
11:20 September 21, 2011 by USA_NUMBER_ONE
I thought Eastern Germany looked like a Russian gulag....messed up ..and the people were country and poor
18:56 September 21, 2011 by opalala
That study was probably made by the same company who did a similar inquiry in North Korea and found out they are the happiest country on Earth.
19:13 September 21, 2011 by Lost in Germany
What are they so happa about? They have constant rain!!
10:51 September 22, 2011 by Johnne
I challenge this survey.
17:29 September 24, 2011 by marktshark
Yes I think it is true, those in Erfurt don't smile so much
08:10 September 30, 2011 by JCBearss
Wiesbaden...epicenter of misery and mean Germans...WOW I MISS BAYERN
20:32 October 1, 2011 by mikel taylor
so i back my car out of the driveway this morning and right into another car, oh darn I'm thinking, so i get out to talk with this other driver, when he gets out of his car i notice he's a midget, first thing he says is I'M NOT HAPPY ! so i say to him, so which one are you then!!

Happy people will get this joke, Hamburg people will not, Americans will most definitely get it,

I will respectfully disagree with the happiest Germans thing my vote goes for Bavarians, Hamburg although i love it and it's close to where I'm from they are a little stuck up.. great city,great people, but a little cold,

the happiest people live closest to the brewery, or in the area with the most sunshine
16:14 September 14, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Well they most certainly don't live in Berlin. One only has to look at the sour faces on the tram to work every morning. Jeeeez, life is too short to be like that.
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