Happiness hits a peak in your 20s
They say your school years are the happiest of your life, and it seems there could be some truth in that. According to an in-depth investigation by a team in Australia, people hit peak happiness between the ages of 15 and 24. Then follows a low-period, which depressingly lasts for over 40 years, with an upturn kicking in when we're 65. That's not the end of it though, as you have to wait until you're over 75 to really feel jolly again.
University of New South Wales' Dr. Ioana Ramia led the research, during which she hoped to discover how people's attitudes towards happiness in their lives changes as they age. The idea was that once that was pinpointed, policy could be put in place to help people.
She spoke about the research at the Australian Social Policy Conference, highlighting some of the key points. They included that couples tend to be most satisfied just before they become parents, but then there's a dip until the tot is six.
"It then stays still low, but increases slightly, and is the highest around the age of 80,” she added. “So that’s something to look forward to.”
The middle-age years are thought to be the toughest as it's during this period that work and financial woes play heavily on people. When you're young or much older, these things tend to have settled naturally.
Housing also plays a part. Although young people don't care about their property, they want to be near work and friends. As they get older the house itself become more important, as does the area it's in.
"At this time happiness is at its lowest and it only starts to increase when people start focusing on other things, like their free time,” she added.
Safety was important to all age groups, while health was particularly vital to those in their mid-30s and then older people.
Although the study has shown there are happiness peaks and troughs, it hasn't proven why - or what can be down to establish an equilibrium.
The figures were determined by looking at the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey.