Survey reveals Canadians are happiest at 55 and older

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For anyone under the age of 55 living in despair, hang in there as the best is yet to come. A new national survey suggests Canadians are happier after age 55 when they earn a higher income, but also indicates most don’t consider money as a key factor affecting their happiness. Note that people who tend to say money doesn’t bring happiness are usually the wealthy.

The Happiness Index compiled by Leger asked Canadians across the country to rate their level of happiness on a scale of one to 10 and note which factors they believe influence their happiness the most.

Up to half of respondents ranked their happiness as at least eight out of 10, with almost no difference between rural and urban areas.

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Ontario participants were at the bottom of the list, with only 47 per cent reporting a high level of happiness.

High happiness scores remained steady at 44 per cent for participants between the ages of 18 and 54 but spiked to 61 per cent after age 55.

Participants with higher incomes were also more likely to have a high happiness score.

Forty-four per cent of those making $40,000 or less per year reported a high level of happiness, but that number rose to 53 per cent for those earning up to $80,000 per year and to 58 per cent for those with even higher incomes. No word on those earning $30,000 or less, they must be truly miserable.

The factors participants deemed most influential on happiness were a sense of freedom and the belief they were living the life they had imagined for themselves, with 24 and 19 per cent of respondents identifying those as key.

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Between five and seven per cent highlighted recognition from peers and family, health, how worried they are about the future and the courteousness of others as main factors affecting their happiness.

The survey also showed more respondents reported high levels of happiness when they owned homes rather than renting (57 per cent compared with 40) and lived with others rather than alone (53 per cent compared with 43).

It is not surprising that homeowners were happier than those renting, especially if they are forced to rent because of housing affordability. At the end of the day, money does not bring happiness, but then not having enough money can bring unhappiness, fear and insecurity. -CINEWS

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