Concept of Happiness and Happiness in Georgia: Perceptions and Correlates of Reported Overall Happiness

Lia Tsuladze, Marine Chitashvili, Nani Bendeliani, Luiza Arutinovi

July 2013


The research focuses on exploring the perception of the concept of Happiness of Georgians and the determining factors of reported overall happiness. Quantitative and Qualitative research approaches have been used to study these issues. The qualitative data covers an overview of the self-reported happiness of Georgians based on international and local surveys, also defining the main predictors of overall happiness using CSS survey data (2012) by using the step-wise regression model to identify what Georgian people mean by overall happiness and what the determinants of the reported happiness in Georgia are. Qualitative research was focused on interviews and focus groups to explore the discursive, general understanding of happiness. To summarize the research results, the determining factors of reported overall happiness in Georgia were identified as follows: Assessment of Current Family Income and Expectation of Positive Changes in Family Economic Status in Coming Years are the most important predictors of self-reported happiness according to the 2012 data. Consumption Spending, Age and Marital Status also determine the self-reported overall happiness in Georgia. The qualitative research on the perception of overall happiness has revealed that the majority of respondents reflect on happiness in relation to health, family well-being, close relationships/friends, love and income. Young participants tend to emphasize self-oriented activities, freedom, personal independence, self-development, success in career, and enjoying the life; whereas adults underlined the importance of family relationships, health, and income. The literature has depicted that reported happiness is highly correlated with life satisfaction; however, our qualitative study has demonstrated that respondents associate life satisfaction with financial welfare, whereas happiness implies nonmaterial issues.