Week 21: Health, wealth and happiness

The so-called grey market is feeling the most positive since the index began, as health and wealth levels are on the up, says Doug Edmonds, managing director of 2CV.

This week’s well-being index takes a positive swing upwards, increasing 4 points and registering this week at 43.

This lift is driven by both the younger and older generations, with well-being rising by 4 and 7 points respectively. The middle-aged band’s well-being remains the same as last week, with just 30% reporting feelings of contentment.

Levels of happiness fall amongst 16-34 year olds and 35-54 year olds. In contrast, the older generation’s significantly increases by a massive 27 points. Six out of 10 55-74 year olds are in positive spirits, the highest it has been since the index began. Recent research in America found that rich married men who are approaching retirement have the highest self-esteem and this bumper week does support this claim. The grey market is the most affluent group (42%) with the second highest health levels, it’s not surprising that research suggests that wealth and health are related to feeling more independent and being better able to contribute to society.

Health levels are driven up overall (46%) by women and young people. Following last week’s slight lull, 16-34 year olds satisfaction with their health jumps up by an impressive 19 points so now just under two-thirds (65%) are feeling fit and shape. Perhaps the season of sports events, for example The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race, Grand National, Masters Golf Tournament, has provided some extra incentive to keep fit and marketers should capitalise on these feelings of heightened emotion and motivation.

Interestingly, feelings of satisfaction with finances amongst the middle-aged – who have recently been feeling the brunt of the weak pound – increases by 5 points. 35-54 year olds are now in line with the younger generation with just 20% reporting satisfaction with their finances. This is not surprising when a recent survey highlighted by the media found that the majority of Britons feel that the benefits of saving have fallen in the past year. Here are the results by each demographic:

Young People

The bumper increase in health levels boosts their overall well-being to 44%, despite a slight fall in wealth and happiness. Satisfaction with wealth drops by 3 points and just 53% of people are reporting feeling optimistic, compared to 60% last week.

Middle-aged band

Overall well-being remains static at 30%, as levels only fluctuate slightly across the different aspects. Health levels fall by 2 points and happiness drops by 3 points. As mentioned above, wealth increases by 5 points to 20%.

Grey Market

Overall well-being is boosted by the massive increase in positivity amongst the older generation, in spite of marginal declines in health (3 points) and wealth levels (4 points). Whether this is the baby boomers turning 60 and coming up to retirement, 60% of 55-74 year olds questioned are feeling positive, nearly double last week’s results.


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