Subjective well-Being and environment : a GIS-Based analysis

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för naturgeografi och ekosystemvetenskap

Abstract: Subjective well-being is how individuals experience their quality of life, happiness, and life satisfaction; essentially, how people think and feel about their lives. Many variables influence subjective well-being. This study explores the relationship between environmental factors and a reputable subjective well-being index. Previous research which correlates well-being with environmental influences has been restricted for the most part to cross-national variance correlated with climatic variables, while excluding natural hazard data. This analysis compares subnational variance of well-being between metropolitans with climate, natural hazard, solar radiance, distance to coast, and water and air pollution variables. The relationship between Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index and eighteen environmental variables has been explored using spatial regression methods in a GIS environment. The results of this investigation found a significant correlation between well-being and proximity to the coast, as well as new correlations with three natural hazard variables previously not tested. The results indicated that living within one kilometer of the coast was shown to have a significant positive impact on subjective well-being at the 95 percent confidence level, while being exposed to tornado, avalanche and hail decrease well-being (90 percent confidence level). The findings of this study can be used to serve as a base for planning of healthcare measures and risk management legislature.

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