Countries in the Eurovision contest are happier overall.

Science Daily finds a correlation between national satisfaction and participation in the Eurovision song contest. Even if your country loses, you and your neighbors will be happier than if you didn’t have a band in the contest at all:

The study, by scientists at Imperial College London, found that people were four per cent more likely to be satisfied with their life for every increase of ten places on the final score board — e.g. their country finishing 2nd rather than 12th.

The research, published in the journal BMC Public Health, also found doing badly in the contest was associated with a greater increase in life satisfaction compared to not taking part at all.

The team, who were surprised to find the result, say the research chimes with previous studies that show success in big events, such as sporting fixtures, can boost a nation’s health and wellbeing.

Dr Filippos Filippidis, lead author of the research from the School of Public Health at Imperial, said: “This finding emerged from a jokey conversation in our department. Our ‘day job’ involves investigating the effect of public policies, environmental factors and economic conditions on people’s lifestyle and health. Our department employs people from lots of different countries and around the time of the Eurovision Song Contest we were chatting about whether the competition could also affect a country’s national wellbeing. We looked into it and were surprised to see there may be a link.”

The researchers analysed data from over 160,000 people from 33 European countries.

The team stress the research only shows there is an association — rather than directly showing the contest is responsible for raising life satisfaction. However, Dr Filippidis says the work highlights the possible impact of big events on a nation’s psyche.

“Previous work, by other teams around the world, has shown that national events may affect mood and even productivity — for instance research suggests an increase in productivity in the winning city of the US Super Bowl.”

He added that doing well in Eurovision or even just being part of it gives people something positive to discuss — rather than more negative events in the news.