To mark the inaugural UN-declared International Day of Happiness on March 20, 2013 we put together the National Happiness Barometer.
This research shows that as a nation, we don’t feel as happy as we did 5 years ago. For every person who feels that we are happier than we were in 2008, 11 people say we’re not as happy.
More than half of the population state that they are about average in happiness, 29% say they are happier than average, and 17% are less happy than average.
Income levels significantly influence the perceptions of happiness. Those in households in the lowest earning category ($15,000 below average) are far more likely to believe that as a nation we are not as happy as we were 5 years ago (65%) compared to those in the top earning quintile of which just 44% say we’re less happy than we were.
But before we go thinking that it is all about money- while the highest 20% of households by earnings perceive that they are probably happier than average (after all they earn more than average so they must be happier than average right?!), the reality is that those with the highest proportion of above average happiness are those with below average income.