Forget Paris, BUDAPEST is the capital of love! Scientists reveal the countries where couples are most smitten – with Hungary, Malaysia and Portugal topping the list
- Nearly 9,500 people from 45 countries ranked their relationship satisfaction
- Scientists found that couples from Hungary were most in love with each other
- A correlation was seen between more developed countries and happier couples
If you forgot to get your partner a Valentine’s Day present yesterday, you might want to consider booking a surprise romantic getaway to Budapest.
That’s because scientists from the University of Wrocław in Poland have named Hungary the world’s most loved up country.
They surveyed people from 45 countries and six continents on their feelings towards their partner, to discover which places were home to the happiest couples.
Hungary topped the list with an average ‘love score’ of 7.94 out of nine, followed by Malaysia and Portugal with 7.88 each.
The unhappiest couples came from Pakistan, which reported a love score of 6.49, while the UK was not included in the study.
Scientists surveyed people from 45 countries and six continents on their feelings towards their partner, to discover which places were home to the happiest couples
Scientists from the University of Wrocław in Poland have named Hungary the world’s most loved up country (stock image)
The researchers noted a positive correlation between a couple’s happiness and how developed their country is.
‘Our results grant some support to the hypothesis that modernization processes might influence love experiences,’ they wrote.
Research has shown that love is inherently biological, putting the butterflies in our stomach down to a cocktail of dopamine, serotonin and sex hormones.
One recent study showed that perfectly-matched couples become biologically ‘in sync’ within two minutes of a date, with similar skin sweat rates.
Some experts even predict that drugs that replicate the effect of falling in love could actually be available within the next three to five years.
But for the new study, published in Scientific Reports, researchers wanted to discover if any cultural or environmental factors affected relationship satisfaction.
The 10 most loved up countries
The 10 least loved up countries
They asked 9,474 coupled-up individuals from around the world to rank the extent to which they agreed with the 45 statements on ‘Sternberg’s Triangular Love Scale’ on a scale of one to nine.
The statements are in groups of 15, which indicate intimacy, passion and commitment respectively.
They include ‘just seeing my partner excites me’, ‘I receive considerable emotional support from my partner’ and ‘there is nothing more important to me than my relationship with my partner’.
They also collected the World Modernization Index (WMI) and Human Development Index (HDI) for the country they live in.
These both indicate how developed the place is, with the former taking into account, for example, its levels of poverty, health, infrastructure and the economy.
A country’s HDI looks at the life expectancy, education, income and health of the population.
Finally, the scientists recorded each country’s annual temperature, level of gender inequality and ‘collectivism’ – the extent communities are prioritised over individuals.
Countries with higher Human Development Index (HDI) had the happiest couples, particularly when it came to intimacy. However, this did reach a ceiling at an HDI of around 0.85. Pictured: Relationship between predicted average love scores for a country and its HDI
After analysing all this data, it was found that countries with higher WMI, HDI and gender equality had the happiest couples, particularly when it came to intimacy.
Other studies have shown that people in more developed countries place more emphasis on emotional closeness and mutual attraction.
Therefore, countries with higher standards of living may allow couples to prioritise their relationship with their partner, and become closer.
‘Because love becomes increasingly dependent on the capitalist market, [increasing modernization] may also promote specific love patterns,’ the authors wrote.
They add that the fact that, in general, couples in countries with higher WMI tend to leave having children until later, which could factor into the result.
Malaysia was the second most ‘loved-up’ country, with a love score of 7.88 (stock image)
However, this effect does reach a ceiling at an HDI of around 0.85 – which is attributed to countries like Slovakia and Hungary – and then mean love scores tend to drop.
Studied countries with an HDI above 0.85 include Portugal, the USA, Sweden, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands.
More smitten couples also tended to hail from hotter countries, backing up studies that suggest that populations living in warmer climates tend to be happier.
Countries with a culture more focused on communities over individuals saw the same trend.
‘Collectivistic values promote a more relational view of romantic relationships,’ the authors wrote.
‘Thus, individuals from more collectivistic countries might be more altruistic towards their partners, which could naturally lead to more intimate and stronger bonds between the lovers.’
They hope that their work may increase understanding of how love differs across cultures, and lead to more accurate and effective strategies in couple counselling.
Countries with the longest life expectancies REVEALED – and neither Britain or the US are in the top 30
Given its nickname of the ‘billionaire’s playground’, chances are you’ll know about the lavish luxury on offer in Monaco.
But did you know the principality, famously so wealthy it doesn’t bother tracking poverty rates, also has the world’s highest life expectancy?
Babies born today in the 40,000-strong nation, sandwiched on the south coast of France, have a life expectancy of 85.9 years, data suggests.
In contrast, the Republic of Chad, a country at the crossroads of north and central Africa, ranks bottom of the world’s league table.
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