This paper analyses life satisfaction in transition countries using evidence from the World Values Survey. The paper demonstrates that individuals in transition economies on average record lower values of self-reported satisfaction with life compared with those in non-transition countries. A comparison across time for a smaller sample of countries shows that life satisfaction levels have returned close to pre-transition levels in most cases, after a dip in the mid-1990s. The socio-economic groups that exhibit relatively higher levels of happiness include students, people with higher levels of education and those on higher incomes. Happiness declines with age until the early-50s and is slow to recover afterwards. Self-employed people in transition countries show a level of satisfaction as high as, or higher than, full-time employees, in contrast to evidence from non-transition countries. In addition, satisfaction levels are highest in those countries where standards of economic governance are most advanced and where inequality is lower.