How old are you? How happy are you?

One of the most popular sections of my web site is the page entitled “How To Be Happy”. It’s also the section of the site that generates the most e-mails. Many readers seem to find the advice useful.

I’m struck though by how many of the writers are in their teens or 20s. In fact, many studies have shown that a major factor in individual happiness is age. If one plots age against self-reported well-being, a distinct U-bend is seen. From late teens to mid 40s, happiness falls and then rises constantly as age increases.

You can see the graph and an explanation here.

One Comment

  • Peter Clark

    I suggest that youth is preoccupied with “I want” and gets hung up on “I want – I haven’t got – I’m dissatisfied = I’m unhappy”.
    It’s simply a mis-interpretation of “Happy”.
    I suggest your graph is plotting a mis-interpretation.


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