Recent Study Asks: Who's Happier -- The World's Entrepreneurs or Their Staffers?

New research looks at which country's business owners are most satisfied.
Recent Study Asks: Who's Happier -- The World's Entrepreneurs or Their Staffers?
Image credit: Shutterstock

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.
2 min read

What do you need to feel the happiest in your daily life?

The World Happiness Report, a new global study conducted with support of the UN, found that six factors contribute to how happy a country's citizens are. They are GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and freedom from corruption.

Out of the 155 countries ranked, the top five happiest countries in the world are Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland. The bottom five are Rwanda, Syria, Tanzania, Burundi and Central African Republic. In the past 10 years, the United States has dropped in the rankings. In 2007, of the 35 member countries the make up the OECD, it was number three. In 2016, it was number 19 on the list.

Related: 5 Actions You Can Take to Increase Your Happiness Quotient

The report also put a spotlight on who comes out on top when it comes to happiness in the workplace. 

“When considering the world’s population as a whole, people with a job evaluate the quality of their lives much more favorably than those who are unemployed,” the researchers wrote. “The importance of having a job extends far beyond the salary attached to it, with non-pecuniary aspects of employment such as social status, social relations, daily structure, and goals all exerting a strong influence on people’s happiness.”

So where do the happiest entrepreneurs live?

Related: 10 Facts About Happiness From Around the World

On the whole, the study found that being self-employed and running your own business leads to having a higher life evaluation and positive affect -- compared to being a full-time employee for someone else -- in Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand, the Commonwealth of Independent States and East Asia.

The researchers noted that, entrepreneurs in Latin America, the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa had a tendency to report a lower life evaluation. However, regardless of where the entrepreneurs lived, emotions such as stress and worry were associated with running their own business.

Globally, the researchers found that the top three categories of jobs that yielded the highest life evaluation and positive affect are manager/executive/official roles, followed by professional workers and then clerical/office workers. Business owners came in at number four for feelings of positivity.

More from Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur Select: A Fund For Entrepreneurs, By Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs require more than just money, which is why we aim to empower you, as well as act as a catalyst for value creation.

Entrepreneur Insider members enjoy exclusive access to business resources for just $5/mo:
  • Premium articles, videos, and webinars
  • An ad-free experience
  • A weekly newsletter
  • Bonus: A FREE 1-year Entrepreneur magazine subscription delivered directly to you
Make sure you’re covered for physical injuries or property damage that occur at work by
  • Providing us with basic information about your business
  • Verifying details about your business with one of our specialists
  • Speaking with an agent who is specifically suited to insure your business

Latest on Entrepreneur