The New York Times recently asked Gallup to come up with a statistical composite of the “happiest person” in the United States based on characteristics that most closely correlate with happiness according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Gallup’s answer:
He’s a tall, Asian-American, observant Jew who is at least 65 and married, has children, lives in Hawaii, runs his own business and has a household income of more than $120,000 a year.
Somehow that makes perfect sense. And to put a face to the profile, meet Alvin Wong, a 5-foot-10, 69-year-old, Chinese-American, Kosher-observing Jew, married with children and living in Honolulu. Alvin runs his own health care management business and earns more than $120,000 a year:
Reached by phone at his home on Friday (and referred to The Times by a local synagogue), Mr. Wong said that he was indeed a very happy person. He said that perhaps he manages to be the happiest man in America because “my life philosophy is, if you can’t laugh at yourself, life is going to be pretty terrible for you.”
He continued: “This is a practical joke, right?”
Check out the Time’s interactive “Well-Being” map here.