News | Published May 15 2019

ONS: Age most important personal characteristic in determining life satisfaction

Age is the most important personal characteristic in determining life satisfaction an ONS report showed today.

The report found age is most strongly associated with life satisfaction

Self-reported health, marital status and economic activity were found to have the strongest associations with how positively people rate their own life satisfaction.

In response to the report Dr Aideen Young, the evidence manager, at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: "Although people in their 60s report greater life satisfaction compared to those in their 40s, these averages conceal big inequalities.

“What’s worrying is that this new data shows things like self-reported health and economic activity are also crucial in determining how satisfied we are with life."

Younger and older people reported higher life satisfaction, with satisfaction falling in middle age.

The results were based on surveys conducted between October 2017 and September 2018.

Home owners reported higher life satisfaction than renters, while household spending ranked higher than household income in terms of its impact on satisfaction.

Marital status was reported to be more important in the latest report than it was in the last study that was published in 2016.

Dr Young added: "A recent report by the Centre for Ageing Better showed many people are at risk of ill-health and financial hardship in later life.

“More must be done to make sure everyone has the good health, financial security and social connections that mean we can be satisfied with later life.”

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Authored by

William Winter
May 15 2019

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