Week 27: Health, wealth and happiness

Just a third of under-35s feel content this week. By Doug Edmonds, managing director of 2CV

Doug Edmonds

This week’s well-being index remains stable this week, registering at 41.

But while this suggests there is little change in the mood of the nation from last week, there are strong movements within individual groups which aren’t reflected by this figure.

The younger generation recorded the most notable fluctuation this week, with just 34% of those questioned feeling content. In contrast, those aged between 35 and 54 have reported increases across all aspects, with 46% claiming to be content in terms of well-being. Perhaps these movements reflect the contrast in opinion concerning the new coalition government.

The health of the nation shows sporadic movements this week. Again, the younger generation provides the most notable movement, dropping by a staggering 16 points to just 43% saying they feel healthy. Perhaps this demographic is becoming more relaxed in its approach to health and fitness regimes in lieu of making the most of the BBQ opportunities this improving weather is presenting. Only 40% of men questioned felt they led healthy lifestyles, making them the least satisfied group this week.

Wealth satisfaction levels across each group shows similar variations. Just 14% of 16 to 34-year-olds are feeling financially content, following an 11 point drop from last week. Despite the Government’s decision to raise the base rate income tax bracket to £10,000, bringing benefits to the younger generation, they are the most financially unsatisfied group. Perhaps this decrease represents broader concerns with the new Government as it worres about what the future holds.

Here are the results by each demographic:

Young People

With less than half (43%) claiming to be satisfied with their health, and less than one fifth (14%) feeling financially content, a recent report claiming that financial stress has negative repercussions on health seems to ring true as the younger generation juggles living costs and debt worries with trying to organise plans for the summer. The dramatic decrease across all aspects is a vast contrast to last week, suggesting that young people are the least content with their lot. The coalition Government could be a big contributor to this feeling.

Middle-aged Band

A boost across all aspects this week suggests the middle aged band is pleased with the outcome of the election, bringing stability to their lives. Whilst they tend to feel everyday burdens more than other demographics, this week suggests morale is on the increase. Nearly half (46%) feel content, following a 12 point rise in terms of well-being. As a quarter (25%) are financially content and nearly half (46%) are feeling happy this week, perhaps this suggests that marketers are engaging most effectively with 35 to 54-year-olds as they push irresistible holidays abroad, encouraging people to book their family holidays.

Grey Market

Reflecting recent reports that happiness increases with age, the grey market is the happiest group for the seventh consecutive week. With fewer financial, career and family burdens it is not surprising that over half (57%) of those questioned reported feeling happy.


Stephen Mellor

The life priorities of Generation Y

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Young people’s attitudes can flummox older generations but they need to consider Generation Y’s life priorities to get a better understanding of today’s youth, says Steve Mellor, youth and kids senior consultant at Harris InteractiveGeneration Y (13-28 year olds) seem to be a very difficult generation to make sense of. Youth priorities seem to have changed over the years leaving many – including marketers – struggling to understand how to interact with young people.

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