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The BBC (news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3157570.stm) did a study five years ago and published some interesting conclusions. According to the October 2, 2003 article, the happiest localities in the world are (in order): Nigeria, Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador and Puerto Rico.


What might surprise us is that none of these peoples are noted for being wealthy (Puerto Rico would be the best off, financially). People do not typically go hungry in these nations, but these people live in poverty (most of them, deep poverty).


The United States was rated as the 16th happiest nation (even though we are the wealthiest nation in the world). Wealth does affect ones sense of happiness, but other factors are more influential.


The BBC study found that the following ten factors (in order of importance) determined ones level of personal happiness: genetic propensity to happiness, marriage, making friends (and valuing them), desiring less, doing someone a good turn, faith, refusal to compare ones looks with others, earning more money, growing old gracefully, and not stressing oneself about ones personal intelligence.


(By Ed Vasicek, from Kokomo Tribune)

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