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Human Flourishing

How is it possible for people to flourish? What causes people in some countries to flourish, while others don’t? What might change if we knew? The Global Flourishing Study promises to take the most pointed look at human flourishing yet — attempting to map the topography of the human spirit not unlike how science has cracked the DNA code.

We believe understanding human flourishing can fundamentally change the way we live and how we interact.

A wealth of discovery is waiting.

About the Study

Research of Unprecedented Scope and Scale

The launch of the Global Flourishing Study culminates four years of collaboration among more than 40 leading experts from four esteemed organizations: Harvard University’s Human Flourishing Program, the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion, the Center for Open Science, and Gallup, the worldwide authority in public polling.

leading researchers from around the globe
research participants
lenses of inquiry in 6 domains
groundbreaking exploration

Spanning the disciplines of sociology, psychology, epidemiology, economics, history, philosophy, and theology, the team’s combined expertise has yielded one of the most comprehensive studies of human existence ever undertaken — 200,000 participants that will provide nationally representative samples of 20+ geographically and culturally diverse populations from across the globe.

Not just gathering data from these participants once, the Global Flourishing Study is following the same people as they go about their lives over the course of five years. The result will be longitudinal data that can open new opportunities to analyze and understand the causes–not just correlations–of flourishing more deeply than ever before.

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Access the Data

Join the Journey of Discovery.

Preregister now to access the first sample dataset.

Gain free online access to Global Flourishing Study data by pre registering at the Center for Open Science. The first wave of data is available now, providing an unprecedented resource for researchers, journalists, and educators around the world.

Flourishing Defined

What is Flourishing?

The Global Flourishing Study is grounded in a broadly inclusive understanding of what it means to flourish: living in a state in which all aspects of a person’s life are good.

Correspondingly, the Global Flourishing Study delves deep into six domains of flourishing that broadly shared across countries and cultures:

01 Happiness and Life Satisfaction

– Overall, how satisfied are you with life as a whole these days?
– In general, how happy or unhappy do you usually feel?

02 Mental and Physical Health

– In general, how would you rate your physical health?
– How would you rate your overall mental health?

03 Meaning and Purpose

– Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?
– I understand my purpose in life.

04 Character and Virtue

– I always act to promote good in all circumstances, even in difficult and challenging situations.
– I am always able to give up some happiness now for greater happiness later.

05 Close Social Relationships

– I am content with my friendships and relationships.
– My relationships are as satisfying as I would want them to be.

06 Financial and Material Stability

– How often do you worry about being able to meet normal monthly living expenses?
– How often do you worry about safety, food, or housing?


Research Partners


Global Research Team
Piotr T. Bialowolski
Economics, Kozminski University (Poland)
Rebecca Bonhag
Baylor University
Matt Bradshaw
Sociology, Baylor University
Thomas Breedlove
Theology, Baylor University
Brendan Case
Theology, Harvard University
Ying Chen
Epidemiology, Harvard University
Zhuo Job Chen
Nursing / Psychology, University of North Carolina- Charlotte
Victor Counted
Psychology, Regent University
Richard Cowden
Psychology, Harvard University
Pedro A. De La Rosa
Epidemiology, University of Navarra / Harvard University
Alex Fogleman
Theology, Baylor University
Cristina Gibson
Psychology/Organizational Studies, Pepperdine University
Nikolitsa Grigoropoulou
Sociology, University of Bremen (Germany)
Craig Gundersen
Economics, Baylor University
Sung Joon Jang
Sociology, Baylor University
Kathryn A. Johnson
Psychology, Arizona State University
Blake Victor Kent
Sociology, Westmont College
Thomas Kidd
History, Baylor University
Eric Kim
Psychology, University of British Columbia
Young-Il Kim
Sociology, George Fox University
Hayami Koga
Epidemiology, Harvard University
Laura D. Kubzansky
Psychology/Public Health, Harvard University
Noémie Le Pertel
Business, Institue for Global Flourishing
Matthew T. Lee
Sociology, Baylor U. / Harvard U.
Jeff Levin
Epidemiology / Medical Humanities, Baylor University
Tim Lomas
Psychology, Harvard University
Kate Long
Public Health, Harvard University
Lucía Macchia
Psychology/Economics, University of London City
Christos Makridis
Economics, Stanford U. / Arizona State U. / University of Nicosia
Sunsuke (Shun) Managi
Economics, Kyushu University
Julia Nakamura
Psychology, University of British Columbia
Nicholas Norman-Krause
Theology, Baylor University
Emeka Okafor
Epidemiology, UT Health San Antonio
Sakurako Okuzono
Epidemiology, Harvard University
Noah Padgett
Epidemiology, Harvard University
Jason Paltzer
Epidemiology, The Meros Center
Alan Piper
Economics, Leeds University
James L. Ritche-Dunham
Business/Economics, University of Texas-Austin / Harvard University
Koichiro Shiba
Epidemiology, Boston University
John Ssozi
Economics, Baylor University
Laura Upenieks
Sociology, Baylor University
Wendy Wang
Sociology, Institute for Family Studies
Dorota Maria Weziak-Bialowolska
Economics/Sociology, Kozminski University (Poland)
W. Bradford Wilcox
Sociology, University of Virginia
Renae Wilkinson
Sociology, Harvard University
Robert Woodberry
Sociology, Baylor University
Jennifer Wortham
Public Health, Harvard University
George Yancey
Sociology, Baylor University
Global Flourishing Study

About the Questionnaire

The Global Flourishing Study uses Gallup’s well-established data collection infrastructure to create nationally representative survey groups in 20+ geographically dispersed countries.

The questionnaire, administered online, over the phone, or in person, consists of over 60 extensively evaluated and pretested questions, ensuring that the data produced will meet researchers’ highest standards for relevance and reliability. Topics span general happiness and well-being, health and personal habits, relationships and community, personality and character, education and employment, financial well-being, religiosity or spirituality, demographic information, and more.

Access the Questionnaire Development Report

Readministered on an annual basis, the empirically robust findings that emerge can help change the conversation around human flourishing, encouraging future endeavors and collaborations that have the potential to benefit individuals and entire communities worldwide.