German happiness hits record high thanks to the Ossis
A new study shows that Germans are more satisfied with their lives now than at any point since reunification in 1990.
The research by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) released on Friday showed that life satisfaction among Germans had hit 7.5 out of ten on their happiness scale.
The DIW has interviewed 30,000 people each year since 1984 on a variety of themes including work situation, health, education and income to understand how Germans are doing in their lives.
As far as possible, the study always interviews the same people.
On the question of life satisfaction, 10,000 people are regularly asked to rate their satisfaction on a scale of one to ten, from “completely unsatisfied” to “satisfied in every way.”
The DIW say that the score of 7.5 for 2015 is largely thanks to improved life satisfaction among east Germans.
“It is sobering to see that satisfaction among east Germans still trails that of west Germans after all these years, but at the same time, the gap is smaller now than it has ever been,” said study director Jürgen Schupp.
While residents of the former states of West Germany scored an average life satisfaction rating of 7.6, resident of the former communist states scored a 7.4.
The lowest rating ever scored nationwide was in 2004, when respondents gave an average score of 6.9.
Schupp said that the high level of satisfaction was largely due to the fact that Germany had weathered the financial crises of the past few years so successfully.
While other EU states had been hit by debt crises and rising unemployment, Germany had seen unemployment fall to record lows, he pointed out.