Two thirds of people worldwide "need to live better": poll

Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:26am EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Whether or not money can buy happiness, people worldwide seem to think it can, at least according to a new poll that canvassed respondents in two dozen countries.

Nearly two-thirds of about 20,000 people surveyed said they "need to live better," the survey by market research company Ipsos showed, while one-third said their life was fine the way it was.

Given a list of factors for improving their well-being and quality of life, 89 percent said a stronger economy in their country was very or somewhat important -- the top response.

Better living conditions and stronger family relationships were named by 84 percent, while only 56 percent listed finding a romantic partner, and 49 percent included meditation or prayer.

Lifestyle factors such as eating better, sleeping or exercising more and finding new challenges also placed high.

Responses from nations as far-flung as Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Sweden, Germany, South Africa, Hungary, Japan and Mexico varied widely, according to the poll.

Hungarians were mostly likely to say they needed to live better, with 89 percent agreeing, and second-most likely to say this was harder to do than ever before.

Saudi Arabians were the most likely to say their lives were fine as they were, followed by those from India and Sweden.

"These sentiments are inseparable from their crushed economy," said Keren Gottfried, research manager for Ipsos Global Public Affairs, which conducted the poll on behalf of Reuters News, referring to Hungary.   Continued...

Whether or not money can buy happiness, people worldwide seem to think it can.