Living happily ever after in a little cottage in the Irish country is not just a romantic cliché, but the actual best way to contentment according to a study by economists at Cork University.
The happiest people in Ireland are passed the age of 65 and living in a nice place in the country. That is the finding from analysis on a survey of 2,500 Irish people carried out in 2010.
The data included people’s sex, age, education, finances and income amongst other details, and how these different factors affect ‘happiness’.
The results showed that people are at their most content during the autumn of their lives, with those over 65 scoring highest. Regular interaction with friends and family, particularly children, are important, as well as religion being a major part of life.
Material things were less important than you may imagine, with large houses and expensive cars not featuring as big factors towards overall happiness. Income and financial security did play a modest part in people’s lives.
The study was led by economist Dr Edel Walsh, who presented the findings to the Irish Society of New Economists in Galway. She explained: “Overall, it (the data) bears out literature showing that we are at our happiest when younger or older, while not so during those transitional ages in our 30s and 40s.”
There was no major difference between the happiness of men and women who took part in the study. Those in a stable relationship are generally happier than singles. People with third level educations tended to score higher, while being unemployed appeared frequently in the data of individuals with low ‘happiness’ scores.
The results of this survey are not surprising in many ways. For years, Ireland has been considered a desirable place to live. It was named as the ‘Best Country in the world’ in June 2014 following a Good Country Index study.
It is also a getaway for several world celebrities, with many film and music stars owning holiday homes on the island. David Beckham married his wife Victoria in Dublin, and comedy stars Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd have both spoken in the past about their love of Ireland.
The country has been named as America’s favourite tourist destination, and in the summer of 2014 Ireland Calling was overwhelmed when we asked our Facebook followers why they would want to live in Ireland.