Bloomberg News and Gallup took a look at the state of love in the world, and the prognosis is pretty good.
In 2006 and 2007, Gallup went to 136 countries and asked people, “Did you experience love for a lot of the day yesterday?” Bloomberg broke down the numbers, revealing that there are actually a lot of gooey feelings going around in the world.
In the United States, 81 percent of respondents reported feeling loved in the previous 24 hours, but the Philippines came out on top, with 93 percent of people reporting that they felt that loving feeling for a majority of their day. Armenia, where only 29 percent of respondents felt the warm glow of affection, came in a sad last.
Other interesting findings from the data include indicators that marriage, while a boon for love, might not be the best means of experiencing it. According to Bloomberg, “Across the world as a whole, the widowed and divorced are the least likely to experience love. Married folks feel more of it than singles. People who live together out of wedlock report getting even more love than married spouses.”
The data also reveals that love is not actually for the young. “Young adults are among the least likely to experience love. It gets better with age, ultimately peaking in the mid-30s or mid-40s in most countries before fading again into the twilight years,” Bloomberg reports.
And while the Beatles may have been right that money alone can’t buy it, there is a positive correlation between income and feeling loved, the data suggests: “Roughly speaking, doubling your income is associated with being about 4 percentage points more likely to be loved.”
Another truism from the Lads from Liverpool? Love is all you need. Well, almost.
The social scientists behind breaking down the data suggest that love isn’t just good for your heart. It’s good for society, the economy and global stability, too:
If we can find more love for our fellow citizens, our society will function better. Hard as this may be to achieve in an era when trust in government, business and one another is low, it’s worth the effort. When you expand the boundaries of trust and reciprocity, you expand the boundaries of what is possible.