A look into life satisfaction across countries yields interesting regional and historic patterns. In the graph below (click here to enlarge), we plot average reported life satisfaction against national GDP per capita (2006 figures). Responses to the question "are you satisfied with your life?" were on a scale from 1-10, with 10 indicating "satisfied."
From this, one trend stands out starkly--the similarity of response across formerly communist and eastern european nations as well as the similarity of response across developed western economies (in particular across largely Protestant nations). There is a great gulf, however, between the reported life satisfaction of these formerly communist nations and western nations. The graph below (click here to enlarge) gives the distribution of satisfaction with life from 8 formerly communist eastern european nations and 8 western, non-communist nations. The countries are ordered by GDP per-capita. Numbers are in terms of deviations from average reported levels, in order to make the differences more stark. A green area indicated a higher concentration of responses than a red area. We see that the concentration of reported life satisfaction is increasing with GDP and in general is fairly uniform across formerly communist nations and across western non-communist nations.