Are happier countries also more progressive when it comes to DEI Performance? A Denominator correlation analysis between Happiness Index and DEI performance

In 2023, the global landscape of well-being has once again gained focus with the release of the “Happiness Index 2023 Report.” A report which examines how countries worldwide rank in terms of citizens’ well-being, life satisfaction, and overall happiness etc.

Denominator recognizes the importance of happiness as a multifaceted concept and seeks to explore its connection with other important aspects of contemporary life in a country. Such as the progression of a country on dimensions of: Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI). This correlation analysis examines how a country’s ranking on the Happiness Index may be correlated to the it’s DEI performance.

Ranking Analysis

The following tables show the ranking of the Top 20 countries on the Happiness Index as well as their placing according to Denominator’s scores on Diversity and Gender performance. The scores used are based on the DenominatorCountry Index which you can learn more about here.

Top 20 on Happiness

The first table focuses on the Top 20 on the Happiness Ranking, where all countries are within the Top 80 on the dimension of Diversity. As an example, Iceland performs with the most consistency, on all three rankings. In addition, United Kingdom is ranked as 19th on Happiness but performs stronger within the DEI dimensions of Diversity and Gender, placing it in the Top 10 of both dimensions.

Top 20 on Diversity

Iceland ranks as the strongest performer on the dimension of Diversity, while placing as 3rd on the Happiness Index ranking. Another example, such as Albania, is placed as 83rd on the Happiness Index but ranked rank as 3rd on Diversity and 17th on Gender.

Top 20 on Gender

Iceland, once again, leads the way as the top performer in the dimension of Gender. In contrast, Denmark, which ranks 2nd on the Happiness Index, finds itself at a distant 19th place within Gender. Noteworthy to mention is Latvia, which is ranked 2nd in Gender, though placed as 41st on the Happiness Index and surpasses a country such as Denmark on this DEI dimension.

Kenya, another country that does not rank high on the Happiness Index (ranked 111th) is ranked 20th on Gender, surpassing, along with the Philippines(76th), Moldova (63rd), Laos(89th), Namibia (105th), Bulgaria (77th) and Albania (83rd) both Israel, Switzerland, USA, and Sweden. All countries which did not make the Top20 on Gender all ranked high on the Happiness Index.

Correlation analysis

The last part of the analysis sought to explore whether there is a correlation between countries’ ranking on the Happiness Index and their performance on DEI.

The analysis finds a strong and positive correlation with a coefficient of 0.6484 between the countries’ ranking on the Happiness Index and its Diversity performance. This finding suggests that happier countries also perform better on Diversity.


The finding of this analysis suggests a positive correlation between countries’ ranking on Happiness Index and Diversity performance. However, it’s important to note that high-ranking countries on the Happiness Index don’t always demonstrate greater equality in all 15+ DEI dimensions measured by Denominator. To fully assess the DEI performance, a holistic approach is needed and not simply on a few dimensions.

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