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Younger Germans happier than older ones

The Local · 20 Mar 2015, 08:19

Published: 20 Mar 2015 08:19 GMT+01:00
Updated: 20 Mar 2015 08:19 GMT+01:00

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Germans between the ages of 16 and 24 said on average that they would rate their lives a 7.6 out of 10 in terms of satisfaction, compared to those between the ages of 50 and 64, who gave on average a 7.0 out of 10.

Those over 75 years old were slightly more content with their lives, rating their satisfaction to be 7.5.

“Some people say that the 46th year of life is a global low point for happiness," Happiness Research Institute CEO Meik Wiking told The Local. "One explanation for this could of course be that this is a time when we are pressured both from our career and by our children.

"Another explanation is that this might be the time of life when we must come to terms with the fact that we are just like everyone else – we’re not going to be big movie stars or football players and that might be hard to swallow for some.”  

Overall, Germans of any age rated their lives to be a 7.3 -- slightly higher than the European average of 7.1.

Eurostat's EU-wide survey on life satisfaction showed that in general, Nordic countries tended to be the happiest, with Sweden, Finland, Denmark, as well as Switzerland, all rating their satisfaction to be on average 8.0 out of 10.

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Germany ranked seventh in life satisfaction, along with Poland and the United Kingdom.

The least happy countries were Bulgaria, with an average life satisfaction of 4.8, just below Serbia at 4.9.

Wiking, whose institute studies happiness trends around the world, said life satisfaction has a direct impact on lifespan. 
“We know there is a link between happiness and health, so happier people have a lower mortality rate. That means that over time, those who are still alive will have a higher happiness average,” he said. 
“It’s not that people become happier [as they age], it’s that the unhappy ones die,” he said.

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