Some of you might be interested in the results of a 'YouGov' survey into people’s aims in life.
Over 18,000 people in 17 countries were asked to think about their lives and to say which of 12 key areas they most want in life and which single one they want most overall.
The choices (listed here in the order of preference chosen in the UK) were:
My own family
My own home
The countries polled were:
Britain, Denmark, France, Finland, Norway, Sweden, USA, East China, Hong Kong, Indonesia,
Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, UAE
I'm not quite sure why they didn’t include India, Russia or any African or South American countries, but I guess the intention was to draw a contrast between east and west rather than to get a worldwide picture.
There is a chart on the website which can be sorted by column headings to see the order people in each country rated each choice. Each choice is given a score for each country. It's not clearly explained but apparently, the score is calculated by balancing the figures for which of the 12 key areas people most want in life with which single one they want most overall.
It has to be acknowledged that the answers people give in surveys may not always be true to the way they act in real life, but nevertheless some of the statistics are interesting.
In six of the nine Western countries in the survey, love is given priority, whereas in the East, health, followed by money comes top, and love is only sixth on average.
The USA stands out as different from other western countries in how much importance is placed on spiritual progress. Eight of the ten countries where spirituality has a score over five are in the East. The USA is the only western country to give it a high priority (rated 13), equivalent to Indonesia, and just above Saudi Arabia with a score of 12, UAE with 11 and Thailand with 10. In the West, the importance of spiritual progress is scored 8 in Finland and 7 in Australia, but the rest of Europe rate it very low with scores of only 5, 4 or 3.
Do the US citizens on this forum think the stats showing that Americans rate spiritual progress equal with better health and second only to love, are reflective of what you see in your country?
Posters here are never going to be a demographically balanced sample, but it would also be interesting to hear about the personal list of 'life aims' of members of this forum. I wonder if the stats for each country represented on the forum would pan out anywhere near equivalent to the survey?