Monday, October 31, 2011

Billions of Happiness

Today is the 7 Billion Person Day - the growth of our living population beyond 7 Billion.  October 12, 1999 was considered the 6 Billion Day.  In just the lifetime of Ellen (12 years) we have added a billion people (births net of deaths).  The US is about 300 million of this - 4.3% but has 22% of the World GDP (note GDP varies with population so the percentages have some dependency).

The current book I am reading is "Gross National Happiness" by Arthur C. Brooks.  I suspect that the US does not have 22% of the Worlds Gross National Happiness.  In fact, it is well documented and proved that income and wealth does not assure happiness.

 Most intriguing is Brook's chapter on whether Happiness is a Family Value.   He addresses the scientific data surrounding whether having children increases or decreases happiness for the parents.  Interestingly it is not a black and white answer - however the bottomline is that over time and across all populations the happiness cost benefit favors procreating.

I guess there is a reason we have 7 billion people - all in the pursuit of happiness.

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