Finding a path for happiness in the context of sustainable development: a possible key

A. Leite, H. F. P. E. Sousa, D. G. Vidal, M. A. P. Dinis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainable development does not prosper in unhappy societies, as it is a direct indicator of well-being and inequality. As part of well-being, the pursuit of happiness should be understood as a fundamental human goal for all nations and integrate the public policy objectives. The aim of this study is to find the variables explaining happiness in order to provide scientific knowledge to be addressed in public policies. Although the literature suggests that happiness is predicted by multiple factors, the proposed hypothesis suggests the existence of an overlapping model in the different databases, whose common factors stand out from a panoply of other factors as determinants of happiness. Data were collected from three international and reliable databases and a multivariate analysis was conducted. It was found absence of a significant association between happiness and other aspects of existence, considered as determinants of happiness, namely, religion, work and significant others. It was also found that satisfaction with life and health are the main contributors to happiness, considering that the material issues of existence also explain happiness, although in a less expressive way. These variables can be the key to happiness. Investing in health policies, guaranteeing access to adequate income and freeing people from material constraints, involving body and money, may allow people to focus on the higher needs of the Maslow pyramid, and this may eventually lead to greater happiness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-404
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2020


  • 2030 Agenda
  • Happiness
  • Health status
  • Inequality
  • Psychological well-being


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