Guess what? Were happier than our kids.
Happiness is one of the toughest qualities to define: Are you happy because you won the lottery? Because you have a great job? Because your child is a genius? How long will you stay happy?
But the elusive subject hasnt deterred researchers from asking groups of people whether they think their life is a good one. And The Daily Beast reported on some of the most amazing poll results:
- The older you get, the happier you are. According to the results of a Harris poll, 44 percent of people aged 65 or older are happy. In both the 25- to 29-year-old and the 30- to 39-year-old groups, the figure was 30 percent. As for the miserable 18- to 24-year-olds, only 26 percent classified themselves as happy.
- Republicans are happier than Democrats about all aspects of their lives, even when theres a Democrat in the White House. The GOP has beaten Democrats in the happiness arena every year since 1972, according to the Pew Research Center. Forty-five percent of GOP members described themselves as happy, compared to just 30 percent of Democrats. And the Republicans have stayed perky even when theres a Democrat (i.e. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton) in the White House.
- If you attend religious services weekly, or even more frequently, youre happier than people who go just once a month (43 percent for the weeklies vs. 31 percent of the monthlies), but if you dont go at all, the happiness percentage drops to 26 percent. Analysts for the Pew Research Center, which conducted the survey, theorized that people who attend services frequently are happier because their place of worship provides a community.
- Moms who stay at home and moms who work outside the home are equally happyor not. Incredibly, both groups weighed in with a 36 percent rate of very happy and a 14 percent rate of not too happy. As for single mothers, who bear greater financial and parenting burdens than married moms, only 27 percent described themselves as very happy.
- And now for the big one: Married people of all age groups are 19 percent happier than unmarried people of all age groups (43 percent versus 24 percent). And, according to the same Pew Research Center study, marital status was more important to happiness than having kids.