Ruut Veenhove, Emeritus professor at the Erasmus Rotterdam University and founder of the World Database of Happiness, speaks at the World Government Summit. Image Credit: Huda Tabrez

Dubai: The World Government Summit kickstarted on Saturday, with a focus on happiness.

At the Global Dialogue for Happiness, the founder of the World Database of Happiness, Professor Ruut Veenhoven, conducted a session on how happiness can be measured by countries.

One of the more curious findings by the database is that over the years, even though income inequality has increased, happiness inequality (the difference in the level of happiness of the happiest and least happy people on record) has decreased, and the level of happiness in general has increased.

Speaking to Gulf News, Professor Veenhoven explained how that highlighted the role that factors, apart from income, play in determining a person’s level of happiness.

He said: “Requirements for happiness are universal - good governance, social relationships like marriage and stable governments. Predictable governments give people the freedom to choose how they want to live their lives.”

Why are people getting happier? Dr Ruut Veenhoven explains.