Older and younger 'happier than middle-aged'

Posted on 19 April 2011

Older people, who may be paying for care, are happier than the middle-aged, according to a new survey which revealed happiness is "U shaped".

A report found that younger people are full of optimism and hope for the future which begins to tail off in the late twenties. This leads to a dip in happiness during middle age, before the happiness returns after the age of 50.

Scientists believe that the findings may be due to the fact that older people are more likely to have adapted to life's trials and increased in wisdom, according to the study presented at the Royal Economic Society's annual conference.

Bert van Landeghem, from the Maastricht University in Belgium, which conducted the study, said that the findings do not necessarily mean a 65-year-old prefers their own life to that of a 25-year-old.

"Both the 25 year-old and 65 year-old might agree that it is nicer to be 25 than to be 65. But the 65 year-old might nevertheless be more satisfied, as he has learned to be satisfied with what he has."

Posted by Toby Mynott



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