World Happiness Report wins quality of life studies award

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies has awarded the World Happiness Report, co-edited by CIFAR Senior Fellow John F. Helliwell (University of British Columbia), the 2014 award for the betterment of the human condition.

The award is granted granted for a major accomplishment in using quality of life measures to benefit society . It will be granted to Helliwell and his co-authors, Richard Layard and Jeffrey D. Sachs, at the society’s annual conference Sept. 15–18 in Berlin, Germany.

The World Happiness Report, first issued in 2012 and then again in 2013, contains the largest-ever presentation of happiness rankings for countries around the world. In the second edition, the authors define the six most important factors contributing to quality of life: real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption and generosity.

Readers downloaded the 2013 report three-quarters of a million times. Since the report’s inception, governments have started to take steps toward measuring the happiness of their populations.

Helliwell, the co-director of CIFAR’s program in Social Interactions, Identity & Well-Being, has played a major role as a proponent of quality of life measures for improving well-being and an editor on both editions of the World Happiness Report.

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