Summary of “How Happy Are You? A Census Wants to Know”

Residents of Somerville, Massachusetts have been questioned, “On a scale of 1 – 10, how happy do you feel right now?”. Cencus forms have been passed out to residents residing in Somerville, MA, with over 7500 ┬ápeople mailing back their response. With some answers not being limited about their hometown, one man says he would like to to be 3 inches taller and to speak Quecha fluently.┬á┬áThis shows that people can have different types of happiness, not limited to just municipal concerns.

With help from Somerville’s neighbor Dr. Gilbert, he conducted a detailed telephone survey researching people’s happiness, using random samples of Somerville’s 76,000 residents. Stating that ┬ásocial policies are always spreading things that promote happiness, how could it hurt to directly measure the very thing that you want to know about happiness? With things such as longer breaks, or more vacation days, it’s a no brainer that residents will give a definite yes to.┬áResidents such as Vanessa states that while living in Somerville, she notices alot of improvement, such as installing bike lanes. Simple efforts like these shows that these policies can make people happier.

Somerville Officials hope to create a well-being index, and to compare with other towns over time, to track peoples rate of happiness. They also want to expand thoughts on what can be added on to improve the rate of happiness from baseline datas. With just a little effort, why not let people express their opinions and current rate of happiness to track what can be expanded in the future?

Revision 9/11/13

In the article “How Happy Are you a Cencus Wants to Know” by John Tierny, residents have been asked to rate their happiness. Over 7500 people mailed back their response with ratings, and some with their own personal goals they want to achieve. By using cencus forms to determine the overall happiness of the town, it’s easier to expand ideas to improve the city. For example, building parks, bike paths, or when mass transit services are improved, can have a impact on people’s happiness. Policies can have a change on people’s happiness, and with these cencus forms, it makes the residents flattered to have such a caring community.


When I first wrote the summary, it had some unnecessary details that didn’t have to be there. I learned that a summary is based off the article, and it should include the main ideas of the article rather than small details that doesn’t impact the article as much. By editing my summary, it is now straight forward, without unnecessary add ons.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *