Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Stories that are probably linked...

The latest General Social Survey has Kiwis pretty happy:
  • The majority of New Zealanders rated their overall life satisfaction and sense of purpose highly in 2014.
  • Just over 8 in 10 people reported high levels of overall life satisfaction and almost 9 in 10 felt a sense of purpose in the things they did. 
  • Some population groups had lower levels of both overall life satisfaction and sense of purpose: sole parents, unemployed people, and people with no qualifications. 
  • Other population groups had notably lower levels of overall life satisfaction but their sense of purpose ratings were still similar to other groups’ – people who didn’t live in families, had incomes of $30,000 and under, needed an extra bedroom in their home, or identified as Māori or Pacific peoples.
  • Age differences had a strong effect on the different well-being rates reported by different population groups.
The data tables are interesting, but would be more interesting if we had by-respondent data.

For example, those outside the labour force had greater happiness than those working and those on the highest incomes were less likely to report "overall life satisfaction" scores of 10, the highest, than were those earning $30-70k in household income. And higher degrees are associated with far less life satisfaction and sense of purpose than having no qualifications at all. I expect retirees are affecting all those results. But we'd need some regressions to show it.

Meanwhile, John Key's National Party is polling well north of 50% support. Generalised happiness and life satisfaction is good for incumbents. Even the unemployed report a median "overall life satisfaction" score only one point below those in employment.

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