What Is The Relationship Between Creativity, Happiness And Equality?

What Is The Relationship Between Creativity, Happiness And Equality?

A resourceful analysis indicates that a nation's global creativity index can not only lead to higher economic development, happiness and competitiveness levels - but also to the socio-economic equality of its citizens.

Paloma M. Vazquez
  • 12 october 2011

Richard Florida and The Atlantic introduced us to the notion of the Global Creativity Index (GCI) as a positive indicator of creativity and competitiveness between countries. In Florida’s most recent entry for the publication, he explores the broader notion of economic prosperity by examining the dynamics between competitiveness and happiness, socioeconomic inequality and overall social economic progress. In short, he sought to explore if there is a connection between a nation’s competitiveness (in terms of creative index) and its level of happiness, and between that competitiveness and the nation’s socioeconomic equality. While the full article is worth the read, we’ve surmised some of the key findings:

  • There is a close relationship between the GCI of a nation and and its output (as measured by gross domestic product per capita), which indicates that the more creative and innovative economies tend to be more well developed and competitive. No surprises there.
  • Additionally, innovation and entrepreneurship together drive economic development. More creative economies tend to be more entrepreneurial, as evidenced by a close relationship between the GCI of a nation and its Global Entrepreneurship Index. Again – no surprises.
  • At a correlation of .74, the GCI is also closely associated with reported life satisfaction, meaning that – generally speaking – the more creative a nation’s output, the likelier it is to be happy. When we’re creating, we’re happy. Which is not the same as saying that when we’re working (on just about anything) we’re happy. We need to be employed with the right type of work to match our skill set and desires – and being compensated for it fairly.
  • Which leads to the last point; highly creative nations are less likely to suffer from the deep divides and inequalities that lead to decreased happiness. There are several examples of countries – including in Scandinavia, Northern Europe and Japan that combine high levels of innovation and creativity with lower levels of inequality than what we see in the US and the UK.

While Florida’s points are more specifically targeted to politics and economic policy, we were particularly inspired by the parallels drawn by Florida and his team in developing the models and analysis. For instance, using the Gini Index as a standard measure of income inequality vs. the GCI to understand the relationship between a nation’s innovation and creativity and its level of equality. Or the definition of a nation’s GCI as a broad composite measure based on technology (R&D investment, researchers, and patents per capita) talent and tolerance. The ingenuity in identifying and developing indices based on existing, widely accessible data, which has in turn lead to a more complete assessment and model for comparative socio-economic analysis than what has been proposed around the topic of economic inequality – is a highly resourceful and constructive suggestion for discussing and reframing the problem.

We hope to take a page from Florida’s book and exercise the same ingenuity and resourcefulness when drawing parallels from which to analyze our own hypotheses and explore dynamics through data – political or not.


Brand Engagement At The Gates Of The World's Largest Open-Air Gallery

Asia Yesterday

Safe Drivers Rewarded In Japan With Free Coffee

Driving Barista is a new app that encourages Japanese motorists to put their phones down as they drive

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Michael Kors Has Designed Their Own Instant Camera

In a partnership with Fuji, the limited edition Instax Mini 70 comes in an exclusive metallic gold color


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Health Yesterday

Manage Your Emotional Health Through Your Phone

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer has created a new iOS app meant to help patients track mental progress and set goals

Food Yesterday

Delete Food Pics Off Of Instagram To Feed The Hungry

Land O'Lakes and Feeding America are donating meals for every picture of a meal taken off of the social platform

Related Expert

Joanne McNeil

Sharing Economy, Social Computing, Internet Culture

Design & Architecture Yesterday

This Shape-Shifting Pod Could Be The Future Of The Cubicle

MIT and Google have designed a new form of work enclosure meant to offer privacy in open-office layouts

Advertising Yesterday

Billboard Spies On People As They Walk By

To promote the movie "Snowden," the advertisement broadcasts information on passersby without their knowledge

Fashion Yesterday

Anti-Pollution Scarf Helps Cyclists Ride Through Cities

An innovative system filters pollutants and its accompanying app monitors quality of the air


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed september 26, 2016

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

PSFK Labs Yesterday

New Mentorship Ecosystems Benefit All Levels Of An Organization

PSFK’s Future of Work report explores how technology is being leveraged to support cross-team communication

Automotive Yesterday

Volvo’s Self-Driving Trucks Will Soon Be Put To Work In An Underground Mine

The fully-automated vehicles are part of a development project to help improve safety for workers

Op-Ed Yesterday

Energy Expert: How American Consumers Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Jennifer Tuohy, green tech expert at The Home Depot, discusses green home technologies and developments for renewable technologies in US homes

Work Yesterday

Editorial Roundtable: How Will Companies Staff The Workplace Of The Future?

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX examine the ways that a people-first workplace might disrupt the job hiring process

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Mischievous Drone Will Drop Paint-Filled Balloons On Targets Of Your Choosing

A German photography team developed the flying device to accurately deliver a payload wherever needed


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Fashion Yesterday

100 Backpacks Made For The World’s Top Influencers

Heineken and TUMI have collaborated on a unique custom NYC-inspired bag

Financial Services Yesterday

This Peer-To-Peer Insurance Company Is Powered By Bots

Lemonade is a new product designed to lighten the paperwork and provide instant, helpful service when needed

No search results found.