Ah, summer: time to relax and enjoy yourself. According to the New Economic Foundation (NEF), however, enjoying life is a complicated business. The chart above shows the responses of several demographic groups to questions about their wellbeing. “To what extent do you get a chance to learn new things?”, for example, or “How much time during the past week have you felt tired?” The responses have been crunched in the first pan-European National Accounts of Wellbeing report – and the NEF argues that we should treat its indicators with the seriousness we do Gross Domestic Product.
So, how do we shape up? People in the UK have higher levels of positive feelings than the European average, as well as a stronger feeling of living a satisfying life. But we lag behind in terms of trust and belonging – the extent to which we trust others, say, or feel that they treat us fairly and respectfully.
And what effect does money have on wellbeing? Higher income correlates to lack of negative feelings and rising perceptions of a satisfying life. But having more money doesn’t seem to boost trust or belonging. Trust, it seems, comes with age.
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