UPDATE: All right, so here’s the skinny on this question. Yesterday, Ben at Terminal Station referenced a great David Brooks article on general happiness and hypothetical trade-offs you could make in your life. In addition to stating that the single most “injurious” activity to happiness is commuting, he stated …
If you want to find a good place to live, just ask people if they trust their neighbors. Levels of social trust vary enormously, but countries with high social trust have happier people, better health, more efficient government, more economic growth, and less fear of crime (regardless of whether actual crime rates are increasing or decreasing).
And apparently one of the best ways to gauge trust amongst a population is to ask the wallet question below. Gallup did just such a poll of 170,000 Americans last October, and Utah and South Dakota ranked first with 85% of residents responding that they believed their neighbor would return a wallet with $200 in it.
Georgia ranked 45th among the 50 states (Southern states were some of the lowest of the bunch) with just 64% of people answering yes.
The verdict? With over 90% of you having faith in your neighbor, you’re all a bunch of trusting, happy, healthy FREAKS! At least compared to the state of Georgia.
More on why I’m asking this poll question later. But for now, a little social experiment!