Happiness and life satisfaction in Rwanda

Kayonda Ngamaba

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This study investigated predictors of happiness and life satisfaction in Rwanda. Data from the World Values Survey and gathered from 3 030 Rwandese (age ranging 16 to 90 years, mean age = 34.2, SD = 12.7; females = 50.5%) were pooled for the analysis. For the comparison, international World Values Survey data were utilised. A fixed effects multilevel regression model was used to predict happiness and life satisfaction from gender, health, socio-economic, and some subjective measures. Males had greater self-rated happiness and life satisfaction scores than females. State of health and sense of freedom of choice predicted both happiness and life satisfaction. Valuing of friends, weekly religious attendance, and national pride positively predicted happiness, whereas household’s financial satisfaction, full-time employment, high-income group, being a student, and sense of trust predicted life satisfaction. This study suggests that health status, household’s financial satisfaction and emancipative values could maximise subjective well-being in Rwanda.
Keywords: happiness, life satisfaction, subjective well-being, Rwanda, panel data
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-414
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychology in Africa
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2016


  • happiness, life satisfaction, subjective well-being, Rwanda, panel data


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