AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Alvin Wong, Happiest Person In America

March 7th, 2011 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Alvin Wong with his wife, Trudy Schandler-Wong

Name: Alvin Wong

Age: 69

Ethnicity: Chinese American

Religion: Judaism

Occupation: Business owner and Happiest Person in America

According to data collected by Gallup over the last three years that was then plugged into a formula called the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the statistical composite for the happiest person in the U.S. is:

…tall, Asian-American, observant Jew who is at least 65 and married, has children, gets lei-ed lives in Hawaii, runs his own business and has a household income of more than $120,000 a year.

Alvin Wong, a 5’10″, 69 year-old health care management business owner, fits that bill. But is he the only one? I mean, how many tall, Asian American, observant Jews 65-and-over do you know?

(In light of the fact that the median income for Jews and Asian Americans is not only similar but exceeds the national average, the $120 thou a year part is a given. Jews are reputed to have slightly higher divorce rates than non-Jews, while Asian Americans have slightly lower divorce rates, so when combined the marriage thing is a non-factor. And remember, this is all junk science, so no emails about this being junk science and stereotype-dredging. I mean, duh.)

Since Diana and I both suck at math, I had a Physics professor friend of mine–not my Hardass Asian Dad, incidentally–crunch the numbers for me. Here are his findings based on the data I provided for him:

1) 465,000 of American Jews are Asian, Black, Latino, Native American or mixed-race. I am going to guess that most of these are Sephardic Jews (75%?) and I’ll assume essentially none of the Native Americans are. So if half of the remaining 25% (i.e. 12.5%) are Asian Jews and half are African-American, that’s 58125 people.

2) The male/female mix changes with age but it is a small effect
compared to other approximations. 49.3% of the American population is male, which gives us 28655 people.

3) Over 65 is 12.8% percent of the population. But Asians seem to live a bit longer than others so let’s call it 15%. They are also probably the wealthier ones, which we’ll account for later. So taking 15% I get 4298 people.

4) Income over 120,000 is 7% of the population, but given that we are
dealing with male, Asian, Jews over 65, let’s multiply that by 5 to
get 35%, leaving 1504.

So, yeah, basically, according to my smart friend’s calculations, there are about 1500–maybe 1000, if you factor in height–”happiest people in America.”

And that leaves the rest of America–all 308,744,000 of us Not-Alvin-Wongs–with our emo, our mumblecore, and our anti-depressants. Lucky us!

[NY Times: Discovered: The Happiest Man in America]

Thanks, Turk Fontaine!
Thanks, David!!!

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