There’s a wonderful moment in Brick Lane, where Nazneen’s husband Chanu, a perpetual and distracted student, reads from his newspaper that Bangladesh has a higher happiness index than Great Britain. Nazneen responds that she doesn’t believe it. Well, maybe Chanu is on to something. A new study shows that while income levels have risen steadily in the industrialized world since World War II, average happiness has stayed the same. The greatest percentage of happy people, the survey says, live in Nigeria, Mexico, and Venezuela.


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