Home » Uncategorized » Marriage is the secret to happiness: Tying the knot makes us more content than money, children or having a degree

Marriage is the secret to happiness: Tying the knot makes us more content than money, children or having a degree

Getting married makes people happier with their lives than earning big salaries, having children or believing in God, new research shows.

A major study of the nation’s well-being also reveals graduates and high earners are more anxious than people who only have A-levels or have more modest incomes.

But personal health has the biggest impact on life satisfaction, happiness and whether people feel what they do is worthwhile, the Office for National Statistics revealed.

The happiness survey was launched by David Cameron to assess the state of the nation beyond economic factors.

The Office for National Statistics asked 160,000 people to rate their satisfaction with life, feeling that their life is worthwhile, how happy they felt yesterday and how anxious they felt yesterday on a scale of one to 10.

It found living in rural areas, being religious, owning a house outright and being in good health improve happiness, but living alone, in a deprived area and being in a job you do not like can all affect wellbeing negatively.

It revealed that people who have tied the knot are happier than cohabiting couples and singletons.

People living along scored their happiness on average 0.4 per cent lower than those who are married or in a civil partnership.

The scores were even lower for those who are widowed, who rated their happiness 0.6 of a point lower.

The ONS said: ‘Holding all else equal and comparing people according to their relationship status shows that married people and those in civil partnerships rate their ‘life satisfaction’, the sense that their activities are ‘worthwhile’ and ‘happiness yesterday’ significantly higher than cohabiting couples, single, divorced and widowed people.

‘The “anxiety yesterday” ratings of single, divorced and widowed people were also significantly higher than those of married people.

Surprisingly the best-educated are more likely to be stressed. The ONS said:  ‘People with the highest educational attainment have higher ratings of “anxiety yesterday” on average than people with lower educational attainment.’

People in managerial and professional jobs were also more likely to be anxious than those technical roles or low-level supervisory roles.

However people without any qualifications were much less likely to say what they did was worthwhile.

People who live with young children gave higher ratings when asked if they feel that the things they do in life are ‘worthwhile’, compared to people who do not live with children.

However the ONS said there was only a ‘small or very small’ link between having children and overall wellbeing.

The age-old saying that money cannot buy happiness is also borne out by the study.

While people on higher wages reported higher levels  of ‘life satisfaction’ they did not higher levels of ‘happiness yesterday’ or feeling that what we do is ‘worthwhile’.

The level of personal earnings also does not affect levels of anxiety.

The retired report the highest levels of wellbeing – even higher than those in work who enjoy their jobs.

People who are unhappy in their work and would like a different job are more likely to have lower levels of wellbeing.

‘The importance that a sense of choice over and satisfaction with our activities has to personal wellbeing extends beyond contentment with a job,’ the ONS said.

‘People looking after family or home who would like to work but were prevented by their circumstances from seeking work reported lower average levels of life satisfaction and ‘happy yesterday’ than similar people who were content with their situation.’

Personal health has the biggest impact on levels of wellbeing. People who reported very bad health gave much lower ratings of personal well-being than those in good health.

People in very bad health rated their ‘life satisfaction’ 2.4 points lower, their ‘happiness yesterday’ 2.6 points lower, the sense that what they are doing is ‘worthwhile’ 2.0 points lower than people in good health.  People were also more anxious.


An ONS spokesman said: ‘Gaining an understanding of what influences personal well-being is an important aspect of national well-being, but is only part of a broader picture that draws on a range of economic, social and environmental statistics to show how the country is doing.’



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