From the International Herald Tribune, eighty-six percent of the Chinese surveyed said they were content with the country’s direction, up from 48 percent in 2002 and a full 25 percentage points higher than the next highest country, Australia. And 82 percent of Chinese were satisfied with their national economy, up from 52 percent.
China has had double digit economic growth for over five years. It seems that having a fast pace of recent (5-10 years) of personal and national economic gains are the keys to broad based satisfaction (aka happiness).
The biggest concern of Chinese – expressed by 96 percent – was rising prices. Corruption and environmental degradation also worried majorities of Chinese.
Only 23 percent of Americans surveyed said they were satisfied with the country’s direction and only 20 percent said the U.S. economy was good.
Russians were the third most-satisfied people with their country’s direction, at 54 percent.
Except for Spain, which placed fourth at 50 percent, the peoples of major European countries were far from content. Only about 3 in 10 British, French and Germans expressed satisfaction.
Sixty-five percent of the Chinese said the government was doing a good job on the issues most important to them, though support was somewhat lower in the western and central provinces, which have not enjoyed the rapid growth of eastern regions.
The poll was based on 3,212 face-to-face interviews that were conducted in 16 dialects from March 28 to April 19 across China, though disproportionately in urban areas. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus two percentage points. Sample sizes and error margins in the other countries varied.