Relative Happiness Index (RHI) Launch

Relative Happiness Index (RHI) Launch

Happier than Yesterday but less than Tomorrow?

Montréal, Friday, November 14, 2006 – The first Relative Happiness Index (RHITM), launched symbolically and paradoxically at the Montreal Stock Exchange Tower, indicates that Quebeckers evaluated their level of happiness as 75.30 on a scale of 100. More of them indicated that their state of happiness had improved over the last year rather than deteriorated. This was especially true of young people. Yet, at the same time, Quebeckers stated that society today makes achieving happiness difficult.

For the father of the RHITM, Pierre Côté, this first Quebec RHITM sets the tone and provides a baseline. It will be interesting to monitor its trends, chart the variations between different segments of the population, and do the same with indices for all Canadian provinces.

Quebeckers link happiness very closely to health and inner peace.

The full meaning of the RHITM comes out on its dedicated Web site and links the index to its 12 related factors, such as health, family, friends, and work. Pierre Côté points out that analyzing these factors highlights a number of paradoxes. To illustrate, while Quebeckers rank health as the most important influence factor affecting their happiness, they put being at peace with oneself in second place. And yet they rate faith, religion, and spiritual life among the least important factors. Similarly, you might tend to believe—as do many—that the older you get, the happier you are. Interestingly, the statistics for young Quebeckers show that they are happier than the elderly.

In contrast, analysis of the results of the happiness influence factors also confirms many preconceived notions. In particular, although money doesn't necessarily bring happiness, it does considerably smooth the way, as does education, whereas solitude has a negative influence.

Happiness reference:

The RHITM and the Web site dedicated to analyzing and interpreting the factors related to happiness were produced by Pierre Côté, in cooperation with Jacques Pelletier from the Observateur, who looks after data collection. It's an inexhaustible reference for information about the components of happiness and their manifestations. Anyone can access it, find out about it, and have fun while determining their own RHITM.  Because, of course, the only one who can truly judge your happiness is you.

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