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Germans not as grumpy as many assume

Euro crisis? What euro crisis? Despite the financial crisis engulfing Europe and growing uncertainty over the future of the eurozone, Germans are the happiest they have been in a decade. But some are happier than others.

Happy smiling couple

They're so happy, they could be from Hamburg

Germans are the happiest they have been since 2001, according to a study released Tuesday.

People living in the port city of Hamburg, which has the highest per capita income in the country, are the happiest. Germans residing in the eastern states of Thuringia, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania are the least happy.

Hamburg's happy status is largely down to the fact that it has comparatively few one-person households and a lot to offer culturally, according to the report.

The western city of Cologne is another happy hotspot, beating archrival and neighbor Dusseldorf in the happiness stakes. People from Berlin are less perky then the national average.

The small stuff

"All in all, Germans are happier now than in years past," said Bernd Raffelhüschen, a professor at the University of Freiburg and an author of the study.

Happiness depends on very individual factors, said Raffelhüschen, such as health, relationships, a decent wage and genetics.

The results of the study, compiled in the "Happiness Atlas 2011," is based on data from a socio-economic panel and a representative study of 20,000 people who had been followed since 1984.

Author: Sarah Harman (dpa, AFP)
Editor: Nicole Goebel

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