Countries with more economic freedom have happier people, according to a study published Tuesday by the Fraser Institute.
Economic freedom determines how much control someone feels they have over their life, which can affect happiness levels.
The happiness benefit is seen even when other factors that might increase happiness and also are prevalent in economically-free countries are held equal. These include higher levels of health, income, trust and employment. Economic freedom actually makes people happier than their income, age, political system or job status, the study says.
"Clearly, living in an economically free society has an important impact on the average citizen," said Fred McMahon, the Fraser Institute's Research Chair in Economic Freedom. "Past research concluded that economic freedom spurs prosperity, income, employment and better public institutions."