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- Blue greeny dots are happy people
- White dots are muddling along nicely enough
- Brown dots are unhappy people
This is a happiness plot of Ireland. It’s taken from a thousand people who answered the transport survey, and uses the WHO-5 index to assign a “happiness” rating from 1 – 25. Twenty Five is very happy, one is utterly miserable. Or in the case of the map shown here, the blue greeny dots are happy people, white dots are muddling along nicely enough and brown dots are unhappy people.
There appear to be small pockets of happiness and small pockets of misery. Right now I’m working on other aspects of the survey, but in the long run I will be looking at this data with respect to peoples travel patterns. Does access to good transport increase your sense of well-being. What if you’re commuting hours every day, or spending a fortune on transport?
I also, because I’m interested in cities, want to look at the features of where people are living and compare that to happiness levels. That’s for about six months time though.
If you’re interested in this, you can add your own dot of happiness to the map by taking this two minute survey, or of course by taking the fifteen minute Transport Survey.
The five wellbeing questions in the survey are taken from the Who-5 Wellbeing Index. The answer to each of the five questions is ranked zero to five, with five being the happiest and zero being the least. The answers are added up and the lower your score the worse you’re feeling.
It’s used mostly as a preliminary screening tool for depression and there is evidence that shows it’s effective in that capacity. I haven’t found it applied much elsewhere, but I felt it was a better choice than some of the other approaches I’ve seen. I like simplicity. It’s also short, which saved on making the survey twice as long as it already is.
Playing around with the first 98 results, there is a suggestion of a slight link between time spent travelling and happiness but it might just be a desire to see something in the data. I think with more results, and with the possibility to control for things like employment, area of residence and a better look at types of transport more clarity will be possible. Personally if I can find there’s no link I’ll be just as happy as if I find there is a link.
In the mean time, I took a quick look at the scores of women vs the scores of men answering the survey. The men look a little bit happier.
Again it’s only the first 98 answers, so it’s deeply unscientific, but I like playing with numbers so why not? Today’s quick question is about the types of transport chosen by men vs women.
Buses and taxis were about the same. About half the men and half the women had used both in the previous two weeks. The taxis is kind of interesting, as you would expect that maybe women take taxis slightly more often for safety reasons. I haven’t looked at the number or length of journeys yet, so there may be a difference there. Men were slightly more likely to travel by train then women, 41% vs 30%. Women were slightly more likely to drive, 59% vs 50%.
There was a slightly bigger difference with walking. Men were more likely to walk then women, with 85% having walked in the last two weeks vs 72%. The big difference was with cycling though. Half the men in the survey had cycled in the past two weeks (52%) but less than a quarter of the women had (23%). Essentially men are twice as likely to cycle as women, and combined with the walking result, men travel more actively then women.
Or so it seems from the first 98 responses anyway.
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