by BBC News UK 2 February 2016 Picture Thinkstock
People aged 65 to 79 are happiest (for adults), a survey from the Office for National Statistics research suggests .
Their survey of more than 300,000 adults across the UK found life satisfaction, happiness and feeling life was worthwhile all peaked in that age bracket, but declined in the over-80s, possibly because of poor health and loneliness.
Oddly 45-59 had the lowest levels of life satisfaction and the highest levels of anxiety, with men worse than women. It could be having to deal with old parents and children at the same time!
Younger people had more free time to spend on activities which promted their well-being. So there a “U-shaped” pattern of happiness, where people’s happiness dips in middle age: this has been noted globally, not just in the UK.
The results were broken down by age, ethnicity, religion, marital status, employment status, religion, and where in the country people live. You can see the details in our Health, Well-Being and Wellness section.
The BBC article drew out some highlights:
• Married people had the highest levels of happiness, averaging 7.67 out of 10, higher than co-habiting, single, widowed or divorced people
• People with jobs were happier than unemployed people, with part-time workers the happiest. Of those are were not working, retirees had the highest levels of happiness, followed by students
• Of those who followed a religion, Hindus were marginally the happiest on average, followed by Christians and Sikhs, while those who followed no religion were the least happy
• Women on average reported higher levels of anxiety than men, but were more likely report better well being and feel their life was worthwhile
• People of Arab ethnicity were found to be the most anxious ethnic group, with people of Chinese ethnicity the least anxious
You can look at the ONS interactive maps showing people’s views in each region, based on the ONS measures of life atisfaction, how worthwhile you feel, happiness and anxiety. For more information on this see our explanation.
I guess this is central to us, as our site is all about health, which is closely linked to well-being and happiness. This is what we’re trying to help people improve, in every aspect.