Religious people happier than atheists, official survey says
The British Office of National Statistics research shows that those with no faith report lower levels of happiness, life-satisfaction and self-worth than those who are “religious.”
ONS, Christian Today, Premier Christianity · LONDON · 04 FEBRUARY 2016 · 16:33 CET
The survey asked people to rank from 0 to 10 how happy and how anxious they had felt the day before, how satisfied they were with their life generally, and how much they felt what they did in life was worthwhile.
The published results have been classified by age, ethnicity, religion, marital status, employment status, religion, and where in the country people live.
RELIGIOUS PEOPLE HAPPIER THAN ATHEISTS
According to the survey, an average Briton scores 7.53 out of 10 for life satisfaction and 7.38 for happiness.
However, those with no religion record their happiness as a slightly below average: 7.22 out of 10.
At the same time, although the ones with no faith report lower levels of happiness, life-satisfaction and self-worth than those who do; when it came to anxiety levels, the scores reversed with non-believers rating their anxiety lower than religious proponents.
HAPPINESS AND RELIGION
The ratings for the different questions change depending on the faith of those who answered the survey.
On "life-satisfaction" Christians and Hindus come joint top, while Buddhists score slightly lower than those with no faith.
In a table measuring happiness, Christians appear more highly than every each religious category except Hindus.
Speaking on Premier Christian Radio's News Hour, Christian psychologist and retired psychology teacher, Nadia Foster, explained why Christians are in the highest positions:
"People think all religions are the same but they are not. Those of us who are Christian say it is a relationship and not a religion. That makes a difference because you are having a relationship with a living God."
HAPPIEST AGE, STATUS, ETHNICITY AND COUNTRY
The research shows that 65 to 79 is the happiest age group for adults, and those aged 45 to 59 report the lowest levels of life satisfaction, with men on average less satisfied than women. That age group also has the highest levels of anxiety.
Other ratings are:
- People with jobs are happier than unemployed people, with part-time workers the happiest. Among those who are not working, retirees have the highest levels of happiness, followed by students.
- Married people reported the highest levels, averaging 7.67 out of 10, higher than any other marital status.
- Arabs are the most anxious ethnic group, while Chinese ethnicity is the least anxious.
- Northern Ireland is at the top of the happiest of the UK's nations, and the least happy people are in England, with the North East the unhappiest region.