• Germany's news in English

Happiest Germans live in Hamburg

The Local · 20 Sep 2011, 13:48

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

“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.

Story continues below…

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)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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
Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd