What Makes Us Happy? - Wellbeing Report
2 June 2008 at 12:30 pm
The happiest people in Australia are those aged 76+ with a household income of $61,000-$90,000 according to the new Australian Unity Wellbeing Index.
And volunteers tend to have higher levels of wellbeing.
However unpaid carers supporting family members with disabilities, mental illness or a chronic condition have the lowest levels of wellbeing of any group.
The survey found that not only did this ‘unhappiness’ apply to the primary carer but also to any other adults living in the household.
This report provides the key findings from seven years of research into the lives and happiness of the Australian population by researcher Professor Bob Cummins.
A partnership between Australian Unity and Deakin University has created the Index to provide a regular and comprehensive measure on how every-day Australians are feeling about themselves and their lives – into what makes us happy… or not so happy.
It quantifies the impact that social issues, such as increasing personal debt, are having on our quality of life.
Women with partners and children with a household income of over $150,000 are also in the highest category of wellbeing.
Those with the lowest wellbeing or the saddest are unemployed men with a household income of under $15,000.
However happiness doesn’t increase with money…The survey found that money loses its ability to reliably raise wellbeing beyond a household income of $100,000 – $150,000.
Professor Bob Cummins says the real power of money in our happiness is in its ability to help us pursue core things we need in our lives, such as education. It’s about having enough to cope with things that come up in life, such as illness or a period of unemployment.
The research involved a national telephone survey of 2000 Australians conducted at least twice a year.
Download the Happiness Survey/Wellness Index (2.83MB) below.