At what age do you reach the peak of unhappiness? Here’s what one study says


stress, new form of stress, longevity, stress research, indian express It reaches its lowest in developing nations at 48.2. (Photo: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Happiness is a tricky thing to attain and a new academic study led by a former Bank of England economist says that the precise age when a person reaches the peak of unhappiness in the developed world is 47.2 years. According to the reports in The Telegraph, the researcher of ‘Is happiness U-shaped everywhere?’ published by the National Bureau for Economic Research (NBER) studies 134 countries to measure the relationship between wellbeing and age.

While talking to the Telegraph, professor David Blanchflower CBE mentioned that every country has a happiness curve, which is U-shaped. It reaches its lowest in the developing nations at 48.2. He also talked about another research paper which had interviewed the keepers of monkeys, who found a similar trend among primates, further stretching his theory that misery in middle age may be a universal constant.

“I produce 444 significant country estimates with controls, so these are ceteris paribus effects, and find evidence of a wellbeing U-shape in an age in one hundred and thirty-two countries, including ninety-five developing countries, controlling for education, marital and labour force status. I also frequently find it without any controls at all. There is additional evidence from an array of attitudinal questions that were worded slightly differently than standard happiness or life satisfaction questions such as satisfaction with an individual’s financial situation. Averaging across the 257 individual country estimates from developing countries gives an age minimum of 48.2 for wellbeing and doing the same across the 187 country estimates for advanced countries gives a similar minimum of 47.2. The happiness curve is everywhere,” read the study.

According to the reports, the study was based on the question, ‘Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays? where nought is ‘not at all satisfied’ and 10 is ‘completely satisfied’. He found that those aged in their 40s all gave an answer between an average of 7.70 and 7.90 – the lowest out of any age group.

In a separate study done by Professor Blanchflower, ‘Unhappiness and age’ released by the NBER, he wrote, “The resiliency of communities left behind by globalisation was diminished by the Great Recession which made it especially hard for the vulnerable undergoing a midlife crisis with few resources, to withstand the shock.”

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