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Flags of the European Union countries are hoisted in front of the European Parliament in the French eastern city of Strasbourg. - 


Kai Ryssdal: There's a new global survey that shows even the world's richest economies don't necessarily feature the planet's happiest people. The research looked at 53 countries around the world, and the BBC's Rebecca Singer reports there could be a connection between where a place is going, and where it's been.

REBECCA SINGER: The joint Gallup International poll asked 64,000 people how optimistic they feel about next year. Things like, personal well-being, job security and how well the economy will fare. People who live in wealthy countries like the U.S.A. , Germany, the UK and Japan are markedly more gloomy than those in the economy powerhouses of the future, including India and Russia.

Bronwin Curtis is the head of global research at HSBC, and says it's all got to do with your outlook.

BRONWIN CURITS: We're thinking growth doesn't look good, the tax man's going to take more of it, and so you're not as happy, where as if you're sitting in China, which is growing at 8, or 9, or 10 percent, then of course you see the prospects are much brighter.

And that's reflected in some of the striking differences. Just 3 percent of French people interviewed thought 2011 would be prosperous, compared to more than half of people asked in China.

In London, I'm the BBC's Rebecca Singer, for Marketplace.