What Makes People Happy

The “Happiness index” recently released indicates what features in British people’s lives are apparently increasing their life satisfaction.

According to the survey of 165,000 people, teenagers and senior citizens are the most happy – apparently after your 20s, your life satisfaction decreases till you get to about 50 and the things start looking up. Am I seeing a correlation with breeding time and children moving out of the house there?

Those living in more remote areas are happier, as are those in relationships and with jobs – especially doctors, lawyers and teachers.

I always take these things with a grain of salt though – in the end, happiness is a state of mind, a way you perceive life. You could be living the poorest existence, but find happiness in the smallest of things. Life is what you make it, so I don’t think you can blame your race, age, job or anyone else for how unhappy you are.

I mean, being a geek used to be a factor that contributed to unhappiness right? Yet geeks have stuck by their guns, and found their happiness in their passions – despite society’s perceptions.

Apparently there were some in England who thought the millions spent on this survey an unnecessary waste of expense. While I find the information intriguing, I’m inclined to agree that a survey like this does little in the way of important change and is probably not worth the money.

What do you think? Are happiness surveys worth the trouble to find out why people are satisfied in order to develop better policy-making? Or are they an unnecessary waste of money since each person is unique and finds satisfaction in their own way, and the results are simply stating “the bleeding obvious”?

[Via The Guardian | Happy People Picture via Bigstockphoto.com]