Week 20: Health, wealth and happiness

Longer daylight hours and better weather is driving up happiness levels amongst young people, says Doug Edmonds, managing director of 2CV.

Doug Edmonds
Doug Edmonds

This week’s well-being index remains relatively static again, increasing by just 1 point to register at 39.

Women’s well-being appears to be driving the index, up 6 points from last week and counteracting the men’s fall of 4 points. The middle aged group remain fairly stable reporting no significant changes. In contrast 16-34 year olds, report a buoyant week, with a bumper increase in happiness taking it to its highest level yet at 60%.

As the weather encourages people to stay out longer after work to enjoy the extended daylight hours, spirits are being lifted. This may also explain the decrease in health amongst the younger generation (7 points) and men (3 points) as a glass of wine or beer in the evening is becoming more tempting.

Wealth levels remain fairly static across the age groups. In fact, the older generation’s contentment with their financial situation continues to rise, increasing marginally by 4 points to 46% – an aspect that we will be monitoring as the political campaigns vie for the ’grey vote’. Women report a 5 point increase, so now a third are satisfied by their finances (33%), compared to less than a quarter of men (24%).

Looking at the data month on month, Alistair Darling’s Budget plans appear to have dented the 35-54 year olds satisfaction with wealth, not surprising as the cost of fuel continued to rise. It also appears to have had a knock-on effect on happiness, which drops to 38% compared to 45% in the previous month. Men’s health is significantly lower than last month, however women’s increased so half (49%) are feeling fit and in shape.

Here are the results by each demographic:

Young People
As highlighted, 60% of young people are reporting contentment with their happiness – nearly double the middle-aged band (35%) and grey market (33%). The younger generation are significantly happier now, compared with last month’s data, increasing by 8 points to 54%. These optimistic happiness levels help keep their general well-being on the up at 40% despite a slight drop in health and wealth levels. Wealth falls to 23% as perhaps the summer clothes collections hitting the shops encourages people to part with their cash and start buying for the new season.

Middle-aged band
Overall well-being increases by just 3 points, as happiness remains on a plateau at 35% and health and wealth levels increase by 1 point and 2 points respectively. As more details are revealed about the televised election debate between the three party leaders, it will be interesting to monitor its impact on ’middle England’s’ feelings of well-being.

Grey Market
Despite wealth levels continuing to rise it appears that happiness has taken a tumble with now just a third (33%) in a positive mood, its lowest level since the index began. When most are feeling secure about their financial situation and health levels are on the up (42%), what is deflating the grey market at this particular time? We’ll be keeping a close eye on this age group closely over the coming weeks.


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