SINGLE PEOPLE UNHAPPIEST, SAYS NAB

 SINGLE PEOPLE UNHAPPIEST, SAYS NAB

 The National Australia Bank (NAB) Well-being Index, which takes place every quarter, has found that single people between the ages of 18 and 29 are the unhappiest demographic among Australians. When segregated by gender, it was found that women of that age group report higher levels of anxiety and unhappiness than men.
 The good news is that the index has risen to 63.8 points, up from 61.7 in the previous quarter, indicating that Australians as a whole are less anxious. But the levels are generally very high, with as one in three people rating their anxiety levels as ‘very high’.
 Young people being anxious is consistent with the theme of happiness in general, says NAB chief economist Alan Oster. The 18-29 age group is where people are most anxious about their jobs, financial security, and their professional careers. Not to mention, this professional anxiety is compounded by the social pressures of finding a mate and ‘settling down’.
 But the more important situation here, he says, is that caused by the weak global economy. There aren’t enough full-time jobs available for everyone in Australia, and it is adding to the stress levels of youngsters. ‘The difficulty for young people to get jobs and concern about what is happening in the future in terms of higher education are important factors here,’ he says.
 Why are women more anxious than men? Women have always scored higher than men on anxiety historically, and there may be biological and evolutionary reasons for this. Older and widowed women are often found to be among the most peaceful and stress-free populations, but during their fertile and childrearing years, women often rate high on anxiety.
 The other big differentiator when it comes to happiness is income level. As you move up the income level, and particularly as people get older, they report higher levels of happiness. The higher a person’s income, the better they rated their well being, the report showed.
 Some cynics scoff at mentions of retirement as a ‘golden period’, but the data seems to prove it. Retirees seem to be among the happiest groups in the survey. This may have less to do with actual external indicators of happiness and more to do with a ‘making of peace’ internally within the people surveyed. As you grow older, you accept things more easily. You make peace with what happens to you. You forgive more easily. All this contributes to your happiness.
 Happiness, they say, is in the mind. But this report and survey shows that many factors affect your happiness, that maybe it’s not as simple as that. If you have a high income, and if you’re a retiree, you’re much likelier to be happy than if you happen to be young.
 So the young are not always happy. Who knew?
 

Chirag Thakkar

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