Revealed: The two ages when we are happiest | UK News
We are happiest at the ages of 16 and 70, according to a new report – and having a job is key to finding contentment in between.
Happiness levels drop between the teens and the early 50s, when they start to pick up again, the Resolution Foundation found.
But for people with a job, the fall in satisfaction was far less severe than for those who were unemployed or economically inactive.
The data also shows that the negative effect of losing a job is greater than the boost people experience when they are offered a new post.
Good health and a partner also make important contributions to people’s contentment.
Income matters too – but only to a certain level. A small boost to a low-income household’s finances produces a greater increase in happiness than when an already comfortable family receives a bit more cash.
Moreover, salary level does not seem to affect how happy someone is in their job.
The life satisfaction of florists and airline pilots is the same – despite the average salaries in those two occupations ranging from £10,800 for the former to £86,300 for the latter.
When it comes to economic well-being, being retired topped the survey, followed by self-employment and employment. Unemployed and economically inactive people were less happy than those earning a wage.
The region with the happiest people was Northern Ireland, while London had the least content inhabitants.
The South East, South West and Scotland also did well, while the West Midlands, North East and North West were near the bottom of the scale.
In terms of gender, women are generally happier than men, and have more of a sense that life is worthwhile, but they are also more likely to report feeling anxious about aspects of their day to day existence.
People who are married or in a civil partnership report “substantially” higher life satisfaction than single people, the foundation said, all other things being equal.
Regarding accommodation, homeowners have the greatest well-being. Those renting social housing are the least happy, and people renting private property are the least satisfied with life.
The foundation said its approach “was in part the recognition that life is about more than pounds and pence”.
It added that the “broader intention was to better inform policy makers about what policies might have most value in terms of increasing our well-being”.