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Study: overall sense of happiness in Latvia is record-low

Photo: pixabay.com.
60% of Latvian residents feel happy. Although this is a good index, there has been a general decline of the sense of happiness, according to a study performed by Amigo mobile network operator and SKDS to assess the level of happiness of Latvian residents.

The index was 63% in 2016 and 70% in 2015. At the same time, a trend remains when the sense of happiness is the highest for people in families. The number of residents who feel the happiest in their family has grown significantly, demonstrating the highest result in history – 18%. It also seems that families with children are the happiest.

The sense of happiness depends on relationships – the larger the family the happier Latvian residents are, according to the latest index. 73% of Latvian residents have found happiness in family. Some of the happiest people are young people, married couples, people with children and people who live in large families – four or five people under one roof, as detailed in the study.

Family as happiness doping

Children are a source of limitless happiness for families – 84% of Latvian residents with children feel happy. Every fifth respondent said they are very happy. Residents who don’t have any children, on the other hand, are happy far less often – 67%. Among them are 15% who feel very happy. The largest challenge remains the need to preserve the sense of happiness over the course of the entire life. While the proportion of young people who feel happy in a family reaches 90%, this index usually drops to slightly above half after the age of 54, as mentioned by study’s representatives.

The study also observed the smallest proportion of happy men – only 56%. Results show that there is a clear correlation between the existence of a family and men’s happiness. Men who have a family are generally happier than men who do not – 71%. At the same time, there is a trend observed when the number of residents who are unable to assess their level of happiness increases more rapidly. Approximately one-fifth of residents view their sense of happiness in a family as average.

«The closeness of family members, stability in private life and financial aspects are some of the most important factors for assessing happiness. The number of residents who are very happy in their families has increased considerably this year, demonstrating the highest result (18%) since 2015, when the lowest point was recorded – 14%. As the number of family members increases so does the general sense of happiness. 70% of pairs say they are happy. The sense of happiness is higher in families that have one child (76%), whereas families with two children seen the happiest (87%),» as concluded by Amigo chairman Artūrs Freimanis.

The happiest people live in Riga and Latgale

Looking at the general sense of happiness, it seems that young people, married couples, residents with higher education and people working in the public sector are the happiest. Less socially protected people, on the other hand, are generally seldom happy. The lack of happiness is most often associated with loneliness and failures in private life. Nearly every fifth Latvian resident that has lost a life partner for whatever reason admits feeling unhappy. The approximate number of unhappy residents had reached 9% last year.

What is particularly interesting is that looking at the regions, it becomes clear that the sense of happiness is valued the most in Riga and Latgale. The lowest happiness indexes, on the other hand, are recorded in Vidzeme, where only 58% of residents feel happy. The highest proportion of unhappy people is found in Zemgale – 15%.

«In spite of the fact that for many years Latgale has been plagued by high unemployment levels and residents have become more concerned about their financial state, this region remains the second happiest region in the country. This proves that happiness does not depend on financial values. Psychological factors are more important, it seems. This especially applies to people who are hired to do specific jobs and spend a lot of time at work,» says SKDS director Arnis Kaktiņš.


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