Is there a secret ingredient to happiness that we’ve been overlooking all these years? A new poll conducted has uncovered an astonishing correlation between happiness levels among Americans. This correlation won’t surprise many Americans, so let’s find out the key to happiness.
The pursuit of happiness is an elusive one, and yet something that we all strive towards. With the number of “very happy” Americans in steep decline, it’s natural to wonder what the secret to a happy life is. According to the latest survey conducted by the WSJ/NORC, the answer could very well be religious belief and practice.
The WSJ/NORC survey polled 1,019 adults across the United States between March 1-13, 2023, and the results were astonishing. For starters, while less than half of U.S. adults say that belief in God is important, the number jumps significantly among those who describe themselves as “very happy.”
In fact, a whopping 68% of respondents who considered themselves “very happy” declared belief in God to be “very important” to them. This is in contrast to just 42% of those who are “not too happy.” Furthermore, two-thirds of “very happy” individuals describe themselves as “very or moderately religious.”
The correlation between happiness and religious belief doesn’t end there. The “very happy” overwhelmingly value strong relationships, with 67% of respondents saying marriage is very important to them, regardless of their own marital status.
This is compared to just 43% of respondents overall. It’s clear that having positive personal relationships is crucial to happiness, and religious belief seems to play an important role in fostering these relationships.
In the 45 years between 1970 and 2015, the percentage of Americans who consider themselves very happy remained remarkably stable, never exceeding 38 percent or dropping below 28 percent.
This has all changed with the share of Americans calling themselves “very happy” dropping to only 12 percent in 2023, the lowest percentage recorded in NORC’s General Social Survey since 1972
When it comes to politics, the survey reveals an interesting divide between Democrats and Republicans. While 27% of Democrats say that religion is “very important” to them, almost double that number (53%) of self-identified Republicans say the same. This could be attributed to the fact that traditionally conservative values have often been closely linked with religious beliefs.
CLOSE. From 38% in 1970 to a record-low of just 12% in 2023, it’s clear that something has dramatically changed and needs to change if we want to improve our collective well-being. While faith in God may not be the answer for everyone, the correlation between religious belief and happiness cannot be ignored. By embracing our beliefs and fostering positive personal relationships, we can all take steps towards a happier, more fulfilling life. Those who have no faith in anything will fall for anything.
Let’s continue this conversation, in the comments below.