27 May 2016

NAB Wellbeing Index: Around 1 in 6 “highly” anxious

NAB research shows that anxiety is the main detractor of personal wellbeing in Australia – mirroring the results in many other advanced countries. But, some of us are managing our anxiety much better than others.

In this report, we asked how well “highly” anxious Australians think they are managing their anxiety. On average, around 60 per cent of highly anxious Australians believe they are coping well, around 25 per cent are managing but around 16 per cent are not coping.

The survey also reveals significant differences in how well different groups are coping with their anxiety. While both young men and young women identify as having high levels of anxiety, around 1 in 3 young women who have “high” anxiety say they are not managing their anxiety well – by far the biggest share of any group. In contrast, fewer than 1 in 10 young men with “high” anxiety believe they are not managing it well.

According to NAB Chief Economist, Alan Oster, “while this is clearly a concern, it is unclear to what extent young women feel more comfortable speaking about their ability to cope with anxiety than young men”.

Around 1 in 4 highly anxious singles and defactos are also not managing their anxiety well.

The report also updates NAB’s Wellbeing Index for the March quarter 2016. Wellbeing fell to 64 in Q1 2016 (64.4 in Q4 2015), with all measures rated lower, except anxiety, albeit it remains the biggest detractor of personal wellbeing.

Among key demographic groups, wellbeing was highest in Tasmania, capital cities, for high income earners (+$100K), men, over 50s, widows, two person households, those without children and professional and part time workers.

In contrast, wellbeing was lowest for singles, young Australians (particularly women), low income earners (less than $35,000) and labourers.

View full the report here.

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