Money 'seen as key to happiness'
Published 02/11/2010 | 00:14
Having more money is still the key to happiness for most people, according to the results of a new survey.
Half of the people questioned for a BBC Radio 3 poll revealed that more money would be the one thing to make them happier overnight.
Meanwhile, 63% of people feel they need a salary of 40k or more to be happy and 68% would need a better salary to make them happier in their employment.
The survey analyses the happiness of the nation as part of of Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival - the theme of which is "the pursuit of happiness". It revealed that 88% said winning the lottery would make them happier.
When asked what caused personal unhappiness, 65% of the 2,000 respondents cited finances - putting it way beyond family problems (32%), health (27%) and the welfare of their children (21%).
In addition, money was the one thing that would make 50% of respondents happier overnight - far outweighing spending more time with family, which was the top priority for only 9% of participants, better health (9%) or a new job (8%).
However, loneliness and social status appear to be a bigger cause of unhappiness for people aged 16 to 24 - the so-called Facebook Generation - than any other age group. A total of 28% of the age group claim loneliness is a cause of personal unhappiness, while 18% suffer status anxiety compared with only 1% of over 55s.
But, the over 64s are the most likely to turn to alcohol for comfort with 30% confessing that alcohol cheers them up.
Notably, over 64s are also the most concerned about global issues, citing them as the second biggest cause of unhappiness for them after health. As many as 38% of the age group claimed global issues were a problem - far exceeding the national average of 15%.
Those in East Anglia and Yorkshire are happiest about where they live (over 80%) with the three biggest reasons being green spaces, good local facilities and a friendly local community. Londoners are the keenest to move abroad with 37% claiming it would make their life happier.