In countries worldwide, happiness for most is success in doing the things of everyday life. That might be making a living, raising a family, maintaining good health, and working in an interesting and secure job. These are the things that dominate daily lives everywhere; the things that people care about and which they think they have some ability to control.
Psychologists have investigated the reliability and validity of the measures and economists have studied the nature and robustness of the results. Support comes from the fact that many countries now officially collect happiness data. The same relationships are found between happiness and a variety of life circumstances in country after country. Those who are significantly less happy are typically the unemployed, those not living with a partner, people in poor health, members of a minority, and the less-educated.
Respondents to surveys clearly recognize the difference between happiness as an emotion and happiness in the sense of life satisfaction.