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Worth noting that this:

Over the past quarter of a century, France has tumbled from eighth to 19th in national rankings of gross domestic product per head.

and this:

Not only do French people enter the workforce later than in most other countries, they then work fewer hours and retire earlier.

are related. Assuming of course, that people value their leisure time :) Work to live, not live to work.

What I would like to see is a comparison over time based on the UNs Human Development Index or some of those subjective measures of happiness. Where did Europe stand relative to the US in 1980 compared to now?

Ah yes, here we are:

by TGeraghty on Sun Apr 15th, 2007 at 07:46:23 PM EST
Interesting chart for sure.  We knew of course that GDP per capita is higher in the US.  It's probably not surprising to most of us that Economic well being is however much better in France, due to the much better social programs available, for example in healthcare.

But the US are the same on the Happiness/Life Satisfaction scale.  Wonder if those are actually two different measures, or different names for the same thing.  Surprising they would have a chart with only 2 of the 3 measures being labeled the same.  

Frankly, I do think the Life Satisfaction level is high in the US, and I'm not surprised to see equivalency with France, where the measure would intutitively seem high to me as well.  it would be interesting to see how this measures for the lower classes--I'm not so sure our intuitive feel that the French measure would be higher is correct.

by wchurchill on Mon Apr 16th, 2007 at 01:50:44 PM EST
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