Which German states are the happiest in 2022?

Which German states are the happiest in 2022?

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, an energy crisis and high inflation rates, Germans are pretty happy in 2022!

Germans happier in 2022 than in 2021

The latest Glücksatlas (Happiness Atlas), jointly compiled by Albert Ludwig’s University in Freiburg and the South German Lottery, has found that despite the coronavirus pandemic, the outbreak of war in Europe and shortages of energy, Germans are happier than they were in 2021.

To put together the Glücksatlas, from January to October 2022 researchers surveyed 11.450 people above the age of 16 living in Germany. The so-called “4Gs” of happiness research: Gesundheit, Gemeinschaft, Geld and genetische Disposition (health, community, money and genetic disposition or mindset) were given particular importance in calculating scores. 

Germans were asked to rate their happiness on a scale of zero to 10. On average, they rated their mood at 6,68. This was up from an average of 6,74 in 2020 and a historic low of 6,58 in 2021. Before the coronavirus pandemic however, Germans were rating their happiness levels higher, with an average mood score of 7,14 in 2019.

The number of unhappy people in Germany - those who rated their happiness levels between zero and four - doubled during the pandemic period. 2022 saw these numbers decrease, but not yet return to pre-pandemic levels. The pandemic saw negative impacts on the Glücksatlas’ "4Gs", with many people being made unemployed, losing loved ones and being isolated from people around them.

People in western Germany are generally happier

According to the survey, people living in western Germany are on average happier than those living in the east. The economic and social discrepancies which have existed in a reunified Germany since the fall of the Berlin Wall were heightened during the coronavirus pandemic. Today, the average hourly wage in eastern Germany (with the exception of Berlin) is 20 euros. In western Germany it is 26 euros per hour.

The survey also collected data on Germans’ happiness and life satisfaction by federal state. The three states with the highest levels of happiness were Schleswig-Holstein, North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria, all of which lie in former West Germany.

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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Wade Byron Profe 12:11 | 17 November 2022

6,68 in 2022 is not "up from" 6,74.