Aussie happiness levels reach 16-year high

Sarah McPhee
(Australian Associated Press)


Aussies are the happiest they have been this century, but young and single house hunters are finding it hard to crack a smile.

Average life satisfaction reached a score of 76.7 out of 100 on the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index this year – the highest level since records began in 2000 – with those aged over 76 reportedly the happiest in the country.

Nationwide happiness has been on the rise since 2006.

The joint Australian Unity and Deakin University survey breaks personal wellbeing into seven areas and this year recorded peak satisfaction levels for safety, future security, community connection and standard of living.

Senior research fellow Dr Delyse Hutchinson says older Australians consistently report the highest sense of overall wellbeing because they are often retired and “have less stress on their plate”.

The survey of 1000 Australians aged 18 and over found record high wellbeing levels among those living alone, with their partner or with other adults, and consistently higher than normal levels for married people.

But the same could not be said for adults living at home with their parents.

Dr Hutchinson says this group’s personal wellbeing has dipped to its lowest point in a decade, despite the belief young adults sponge off their parents because it’s easier than entering the property market.

“It’s almost like they’re forced to stay at home because they have no choice. They’re stuck,” she told AAP.

Adults living with their parents also scored the lowest levels of satisfaction for personal relationships, community connectedness and achieving in life.

On the plus side, the survey found they were the most satisfied with safety.

Dr Hutchinson said the ‘golden triangle of wellbeing’ can be found through financial security, a sense of purpose in life and strong relationships.


* Average life satisfaction at 16-year high

* Happiest Aussies are aged 76 or over, followed by those aged 18-25

* Married Aussies scored highest satisfaction levels, separated or never married scored lowest

* Happiness of those living with their parents at 10-year low.

(Source: Australian Unity Wellbeing Index)


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