Marriage makes people happier than six figure salaries and religion
Marriage makes people happier than religious beliefs, earning six-figure salaries and having children, a study for the Office of National Statistics has found for the first time.
The ONS has found that being married is 20 times more important to a person’s well-being than their earnings, and 13 times more important than owning a home.
The figures also indicate that having children has almost no impact on a person’s day-to-day happiness, although it does make them feel life is more “worthwhile”.
The ONS analysis was based on an survey of 165,000 people, in which they were asked to rate their life in four areas: their satisfaction with life, how worthwhile they thought their life was, how happy and how anxious they felt.
For the first time, the ONS has been able to use the data to rank the factors which contribute to happiness and well-being. Health and employment are the two most important factors, with marriage or civil partnerships coming third.
Dawn Snape, one of the authors of the report, said: “It [marriage] gives people a sense of stability, and a greater sense that their life is worthwhile.
“People are happiest in their youth and when they are older. Middle-aged people are the least happy because they have the most responsibility.”
The researchers said they made some unexpected findings. They found that people with degrees were significantly more anxious than those who had not been to university, while the top 10% of Britain’s earners were more anxious than those who earned less.
Approximately 160,000 people from across Great Britain were surveyed from between April 2011 and March 2012 for the study.