You may also wish to Read the blog article on this document.
January 2018

Origins of happiness: briefing

Origins of happiness: briefing
In partnership with

Quick read: evidence findings

  • Happiness varies less with income than with other key aspects of our external and internal life.
  • The key external aspect is the quality of our human relationships – above all with family and loved ones, but also with our colleagues and our boss, and in our local community.
  • The most important internal factor about us is our health, and especially our mental health. Mental health is the biggest single predictor of happiness.

What about income?

Above a level to meet basic needs, income differences explain only 1% of the variation in life satisfaction across people, all other things being equal*. People care largely about their income relative to other people. This means general increases in income have very small impacts on overall happiness in a society.

*The partial correlation coefficient on income is 0.9

Extensive longitudinal surveys from

  • 4

    major advanced countries

Close Quick read: evidence findings
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