True happiness lies in your DNA
London: Looking for eternal happiness? Try to match the DNA of Danish people.
According to an interesting study, genetics could be the key to explaining a nation's level of happiness.
The closer a nation is to the genetic makeup of the people of Denmark, the happier that country is, University of Warwick researchers found.
"We found that the greater a nation's genetic distance from Denmark, the lower the reported wellbeing of that nation. Our research adjusted for influences like Gross Domestic Product, culture, religion and the strength of the welfare state and geography," explained Eugenio Proto from the University's centre for competitive advantage in the global economy (CAGE).
Eugenio Proto and his team found three forms of evidence for a link between genetic makeup and a nation's happiness.
Firstly, they used data on 131 countries from a number of international surveys including the Gallup World Poll, World Value Survey and the European Quality of Life Surveys.
The researchers linked cross-national data on genetic distance and well-being.
The second form of evidence looked at existing research suggesting an association between mental wellbeing and a mutation of the gene that influences the re-uptake of serotonin - believed to be linked to human mood.
The short version of the gene has been associated with lower life satisfaction.
"We found that Denmark and the Netherlands appear to have the lowest percentage of people with this short version," Proto suggested.
The final form of evidence looked at whether the link between genetics and happiness also held true across generations and continents.
"There are reasons to believe that genetic patterns may help researchers understand international well-being levels and more research in this area is needed," they concluded.