On a scale of one to ten, Germans on average rated their general life satisfaction at 7.11 – the highest level since 2010, when Deutsche Post first started the so-called “Happiness Atlas” project, the courier company reported on Tuesday.
“There are good reasons for this,” said happiness report co-author Bernd Raffelhüschen.
“In the media, we slide back and forth from crisis to crisis, but in reality, Germany is experiencing an employment wonder.”
Raffelhüschen noted that since the 1960s, the country has not had such high income gains and purchasing power up to retirement age.
Overall west Germany tended to be happier than states that once made up former communist East Germany, where all states rated their contentment levels under 7.
The happiest place of all though, was the state closest to the so-called happiest country in the world: Schleswig-Holstein which borders the merry Scandinavian nation of Denmark.
In this north German state, residents rated their happiness at 7.41. This was followed by its neighbour of Lower Saxony and Franconia in north Bavaria in second place, with both regions’ locals expressing a life happiness level of 7.22.
Average happiness by region. The darker the colour, the happier the people. Click image to see larger.
The least happy place was oddly enough just to the east of Schleswig-Holstein in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania – part of the communist GDR during the Cold War and where Chancellor Angela Merkel holds a seat in the German parliament. Merkel’s fellow northeasterners rated their happiness on average at 6.77.
Saxony-Anhalt was the second worst with a rating of 6.78. Brandenburg and Berlin were only slightly more jolly at 6.8 and 6.85 respectively.
Contact with immigrants correlated with more tolerance, happiness
Another interesting find of the survey was that people who said they had contact with someone with “non-German roots” were more likely to agree that “living together with different cultures brings more advantages than disadvantages”.
Those in the happier western states were more likely than those in the east to interact with people not born in Germany, whether it be in the workplace, within friend groups, in their neighbourhood, or within their own families
And for nearly half of all Germans, coexisting with various cultures was correlated with a boost to their personal life satisfaction. Another 17 percent felt an adverse effect on their happiness due to immigration. The report found that overall, more tolerant people were happier than intolerant people.