• Germany edition
 
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

“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

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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.
Today's headlines
Have Your Say
Should Germany legalize cannabis?
Photo: DPA

Should Germany legalize cannabis?

A New York Times editorial on Sunday called for the US to drop its ban on marijuana, calling the strongly-worded law a "laughing stock". Should Germany follow the US states of Colorado and Washington and legalize recreational use of the drug? READ  

Cows kill German dog walker in Austria
File Photo: DPA

Cows kill German dog walker in Austria

A 45-year-old German woman died when she was attacked by a herd of 20 cows and calves on Monday afternoon on an Alpine pasture in Tyrol's Stubaital valley. READ  

Knut goes on display in Berlin museum
Knut's new home in Berlin's Natural History Museum. Photo: DPA

Knut goes on display in Berlin museum

Germany’s favourite polar bear Knut is set to pull in the crowds again - but this time from a display case. More than three years after his death, his real fur has been used to create a new Knut for a museum exhibition. READ  

And the winner of the EU single market is...
German incomes are higher thanks to the EU. Photo: DPA

And the winner of the EU single market is...

Germany and Denmark came out as the winners of the European Union's single market in a study released on Monday. Integrating economically with its neighbours has helped the German economy grow an average of €37 billion a year since 1992. READ  

Synagogue attacked, rabbi gets death threats
Police check the outside of a synagogue in Wuppertal for evidence of arson on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Synagogue attacked, rabbi gets death threats

A wave of anti-Semitism in Germany, unleashed by the Gaza crisis, shows no sign of abating. A synagogue was attacked on Tuesday morning, a rabbi received death threats and anti-Jewish comments online have increased. Attacks on mosques have also risen. READ  

UBS pays Germany €300m in tax fight
Photo: DPA

UBS pays Germany €300m in tax fight

Top Swiss bank UBS settled a long-running legal dispute with Germany on Tuesday by agreeing to pay a fine of €300 million. Germany suspects UBS of having helped account holders hide millions from the taxman. READ  

Two die as heavy rain and floods hits west
Münster was one of the areas worst hit by Monday night's heavy rain. Photo: DPA

Two die as heavy rain and floods hits west

UPDATE: A man drowned in his cellar on Monday night as heavy rain battered parts of north-western Germany. A second man died when he tried to drive through a flooded street. The emergency services were in places overwhelmed by hundreds of calls. There are further weather warnings in place for Tuesday. READ  

EU to hit Russia with tough sanctions
Merkel has finally lost patience with Putin. Photo: DPA

EU to hit Russia with tough sanctions

The EU is set to agree a raft of new wide-ranging sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, after Germany changed its stance on upping the economic pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine crisis. READ  

'Mad professor' to swim length of Rhine
Professor Andreas Fath, 49, in training along the Rhine in Baden-Württemberg in June. Photo: DPA

'Mad professor' to swim length of Rhine

German chemistry professor Andreas Fath started on Monday a gruelling four-week solo swim down the Rhine river for the benefit of science and the environment. READ  

Unfair advantage for one-legged long jumper?
Markus Rehm became German champion on Saturday. Photo: DPA

Unfair advantage for one-legged long jumper?

Paralympics gold medallist Markus Rehm triumphed over his non-disabled rivals on Saturday, winning the German long jump championship. But athletics officials are now reviewing whether his prosthetic leg gave him an unfair advantage. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Education
Germany's students fail to graduate in time
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Hamburg harbour lit up in blue
Business & Money
JobTalk: 'Application process is failing'
Photo: Bundesarchiv/Bild 183-S45825
Culture
Germany puts 700,000 WWI docs online
Photo: DPA
Society
This man wants to give all of us €12,000 a year
Photo: DPA
Education
Top university switches master's courses to English
instagram.com/gotzemario
Gallery
Germany's World Cup stars share their holiday photos
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The Local List: 12 best words in German
Photo: DPA
Gallery
German Bucket List: How many of these can you tick off?
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,227
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd