Modern Britons are wealthier but less happy than those in the 1950s

Helen McCormack
Wednesday 03 May 2006 00:19
Comments

We may be better off but Britons are less happy today than they were in the 1950s, according to a survey. And we want the Government to put it right.

In the study of happiness levels, just over one-third of people surveyed described themselves as "very happy", compared with more than half questioned in a similar study in 1957.

And 80 per cent of those who took part in the survey thought that the Government's main aim should be to make people happier rather than wealthier.

In the 1957 poll, carried out by Gallup, 52 per cent of those interviewed reported feeling "very happy", outnumbering the 42 per cent of "fairly happy" souls.

Now, it seems, there are more mildly content than ecstatic among us: the GfK NOP poll of 1,001 people aged 15 and over found 56 per cent of those taking part to be fairly happy, and 36 per cent very happy.

Five per cent, meanwhile, admitted to being "fairly unhappy", with three per cent saying they were "very unhappy".

However, we are not interested in pursuing any artificial simulations of happiness. Three-quarters of those who took part in the survey, commissioned by BBC2 for its series The Happiness Formula, said that they would not take a drug that improved their mood, even if it were legal. Instead, relationships were deemed the most likely way of finding happiness for most of those in the survey, with good health coming second.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in