Solving Cities

The happiest cities in the world

Posting in Cities

A new report reveals why people in Stockholm have soaring satisfaction ratings while residents of Seoul are left in the lurch.

Feeling overall satisfaction with your everyday environment is no small feat. Ericsson’s Consumer Lab just put out a report (PDF) detailing how happy residents actually are in 13 cities worldwide.

While the report conveniently boosts the importance of smartphones to alleviate the stress of living in a city (one could argue constant distraction adds to long term levels of stress), the communication company revealed some interesting findings:

  • Cities that boast the highest satisfaction ratings are Stockholm, Mumbai, Johannesburg, New York, Tokyo, London, and Los Angeles. Cities inhabiting the darkest gloom are Hong Kong and Seoul - despite high levels of connectivity.
  • Women are (slightly) happier living in cities than men, especially in Mumba and Tokyo.
  • 48 percent of city dwellers claim to be satisfied with their city lives, compared to 25 percent who claim otherwise.
  • Traffic and parking madness is the number one cause of stress in daily life. Here's where smartphones save the day. According to the study, virtual traffic peaks parallel congestion peaks on the roads.
  • Students and well-educated white collar workers are happier than unemployed people. Big surprise.
  • Young people are happier than older residents in Cairo and Seoul. In Mumbai, Stockholm and Tokyo older people are the most content.
  • City living commonly leads to feeling trapped, monitored or stressed. This kind of claustrophobia is most prevalent in Mumbai, Cairo, Beijing, Hong Kong and Seoul. Cities with the lowest levels of claustrophobia include Stockholm, Moscow, Tokyo and New York.
  • Finally, the primary conclusion of the study: access to clean, green public spaces is the most important factor for feeling good in a city.

The data for the report was taken from the following three sources:

Ericsson ConsumerLab City Study 2011
A 30-minute online survey with 1,500 participants per city, carried out in Cairo, Johannesburg, Mumbai, Stockholm, Beijing, Moscow, Sao Paulo, Tokyo, Seoul, London, Los Angeles, New York and Hong Kong.

Ericsson ConsumerLab Mobilize Everyday Activities 2011
A 25-minute online survey with 400 participants per city, carried out in Paris, London, Shanghai and New York. A qualitative deep dive carried out via focus groups in New York.

Ericsson ConsumerLab Vertical Study 2011
A qualitative study with an ethnographical approach,  carried out in Berlin, New York, Los Angeles, Delhi and Mumbai.

[via Co.Exist]

Images: Ericsson Consumer Lab report

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Sonya James

Contributing Writer

Sonya James is a multimedia producer based in New York. With creativity and innovation in mind, she speaks to diverse voices on topics from racism in the art world to the patriotic nature of southern food. She holds a Masters Degree in Community Development. Disclosure