Research reveals Australians are getting happier

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Australia’s wellbeing has risen to its highest level since mid-2013, with levels of happiness, life satisfaction, life worth and anxiety all improving, the latest NAB Wellbeing Index has found.

The survey of over 2,000 Australians found that almost 1 in 4 (23.4 per cent) indicated high levels of happiness, up from 22.7 per cent in Q2. The number of Australians recording a low level of happiness also dropped from 14.9 per cent Q2 to 13.4 per cent in Q3.

Anxiety levels have fallen, however it continues to be the biggest detractor from overall wellbeing amongst Australians. The research found that 1 in 3 Australians had “high” levels of anxiety.

Interestingly, there has been a shift in positive wellbeing within the gender and age demographics. While historically young women have long exhibited some of the lowest levels of wellbeing across all demographics, the report shows an increase in wellbeing amongst women aged 18-29. Males aged between 30-49 years now have the lowest levels of wellbeing across age and gender.

NAB General Manager Client Management Lara Bourguignon suggests there is more to be done to boost Australian males’ wellbeing.

“While it’s great to see an increase in young women’s wellbeing, it’s clear that more of a focus needs to be placed on Australian males in the 30-49 year old category.

“We know that women are much more positive about the role that family and personal relationships play, as well as that of their community. On the flip side, more men cited finances and retirement funding as triggers for positive wellbeing.

The research also reveals disparities in wellbeing between states. Australians in NSW value most aspects of their personal wellbeing more positively, in particular education and general finances, when compared to the national average.

When it comes to community, racial tolerance, public transport and dining options are more important in Victoria, while Tasmanian’s derive the least community benefit across all indicators relative to the national average.

When it comes to careers, Queenslanders are notably less positive about their work situation, however those in South Australia and the Northern Territory say their work doesn’t detract from their wellbeing, as well as the time it takes them to get to work.

“When we look at the gender, age and area breakdowns, we can see clear differences in what drives wellbeing across different demographic groups.

“While there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, these results help to highlight those factors that add or detract from wellbeing, and subsequently some of the possible solutions when it comes to driving positive wellbeing across the nation,” Ms Bourguignon said.

About the NAB Quarterly Australian Wellbeing Index
The NAB Quarterly Australian Wellbeing Index was launched in April 2013 in conjunction with the NAB Quarterly Australian Consumer Anxiety Index with the aim of assessing perceptions of wellbeing and consumer stress.

Subjective wellbeing measures can play an important role in supplementing traditional economic measures of national income and activity. The NAB Australian Wellbeing Index provides a snapshot of how more than 2,000 Australians perceive their own lives based on life satisfaction, life worth, happiness and anxiety.

The NAB Wellbeing Index is complemented by the NAB Consumer Anxiety Index which provides a subjective assessment of over 2,000 Australian’s own concerns about their future spending/savings plans arising from job security, health, retirement, cost of living and government policy.

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