Despite the challenges presented in 2020, 85% of Australians say that they are happy when they think about their life overall. Two in five Australians (41%) believe they are happier than the average Australian, with a further 40% believing they are equally as happy as the average Australian.
A similar 43% say they are happier than five years ago, while 35% say they are about the same level of happy today than they were five years ago.
‘Despite global disruption, rising living costs and economic uncertainty, four in five Australians say they are happy when they think about life overall. More remarkable is that when reflecting on life now compared to five years ago, Australians are most likely to say that they are happier, and this is twice the proportion who say they are less happy.’ – Social Researcher, Mark McCrindle
Family and contributing/giving contribute the most to happiness
The top three factors that increase levels of happiness are family (89%), contributing/giving (89%) and having purpose in life (83%). Other factors that also rated highly are fitness/health (83%), educational qualifications (83%), appearance (83%), wealth (83%), marriage/life partner (81%), achieving more than people around them (80%) and career success (80%). For a smaller but still significant proportion, faith and religion (64%) and social media (60%) also increase happiness.
Those on a greater income are happier
Australians who earn more per week report higher levels of happiness than those who earn less, with 57% of those who earn $3,000 or more per week saying they are extremely/very happy compared to 53% of those earning between $2,000 and $2,999 per week, 50% of those who earn between $1,200 and $1,999 per week, 44% of those who earn between $700 and $1,199 per week and 33% of those who learn less than $699 per week.
‘While earnings are linked to happiness, this is only to a certain degree. The shift from lower earnings to average earnings is correlated with a significant uplift in reported happiness. However, comparing those on above average earnings to those on the highest category of earnings shows only a slight increase in overall happiness, and the difference is not significant. This study shows that the three top factors for happiness are family, contributing or giving and having purpose in life and these rate above wealth or being in the highest earning category.’ – Social Researcher, Mark McCrindle