Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Why Happiness Begins All over Again at 50

happinessFor those aged in their 30s and 40s feeling down in the dump, don’t worry - happiness is just around the corner. Economists have found that despite a mid-life dip, people start to feel more content with their life after the age of 50.

The ‘U-shaped’ happiness curve shows that being satisfied with life starts to fall while in the early 20s and does not improve until after 50, where it goes on to rise higher than before.

But despite those who are aged 65 or over generally believing it is nicer to be 25, they are happier than when they were at that age. The study has taken happiness survey answers from Britain, Switzerland and Germany and applied the findings to people’s life cycle.

Scientists have no explanation for the sudden rise after 50, but believe you are happier when you get older as you assume more wisdom and adapt to life aspirations. However, the middle-aged dip in happiness was also compared to that of losing a close relative or suddenly becoming unemployed.

The report by Bert Van Landeghem, which is being presented at the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference, concluded: ‘A U-shaped happiness curve does not necessarily imply that a 65 year old prefers his own life to the life of a 25-year-old.

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