Married people the happiest of all
MARRIAGE makes people happier than religious beliefs, earning six-figure salaries and having children, a study has found.
The study by Britain's Office of National Statistics found that being married is 20 times more important to a person's well-being than their earnings, and 13 times more important than owning a home.
The figures also indicate that having children has almost no impact on a person's day-to-day happiness, although it does make people feel that life is more "worthwhile".
The ONS analysis was based on a survey of 165,000 people, in which they were asked to rate their life in four areas: their satisfaction with life, how worthwhile they thought their life was, how happy and how anxious they felt.
For the first time, the ONS has been able to use the data to rank the factors which contribute to happiness and well-being. Health and employment are the two most important, with marriage or civil partnerships third.
On a scale of 0 to 10, married people were on average 0.14 points happier than co-habiting couples, 0.3 points happier than single people and 0.4 points happier than those who were divorced or separated.
Dawn Snape, one of the authors of the report, said: "Marriage gives people a sense of stability, and a greater sense that their life is worthwhile. I think that the issue with children is that . . . parents have a responsibility and that in itself can add to the perceived burden."
Unemployed people have significantly lower levels of satisfaction with their life, happiness, and feeling that their life is worthwhile, than those in employment. (© Daily Telegraph, London)