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Singles less satisfied with life according to new research

Singles are less satisfied with their life than those who are married or who are in a relationship, according to the health fund Australian Unity’s latest Wellbeing Index.

Australian Unity, in partnership with the Australian Centre on Quality of Life at Deakin University, regularly measure how satisfied Australians are with their lives and life in Australia. Their latest results highlight the disparities between Australian demographics, and shed light on the impact relationship status still has on our sense of satisfaction.

The research measured the happiness of 2000 people on a scale of 0-100. A Personal Wellbeing Index score of between 73.8 and 76.7 is considered normal and the average Australian has a score of 75. However, those who have separated report an average wellbeing score of just 69.2 – the lowest score recorded by the survey.

So what is wellbeing?

‘Contrary to popular belief, wellbeing is different from “happiness”,’ the Wellbeing Index website reads. ‘Happiness can come and go in a moment, whereas wellbeing is a more stable state of being well, feeling satisfied and contented.’

The Australian Unity Wellbeing Index is based on average levels of satisfaction with various aspects of personal and national life. Satisfaction is expressed as a percentage score, where 0 percent is completely dissatisfied and 100 percent is completely satisfied. So a survey score of 76.5 percent on personal wellbeing means Australians, on average, feel 76.5 percent satisfied with their life.

It investigates satisfaction with economic, environmental and social conditions in Australia, as well as giving ongoing insights into our perceptions of individual wellbeing.

The research found that married people were generally happier than singles, de factos, divorcees or people who were widowed or separated.

But it also went some way to highlight the struggles faced by married couples during their first year of married life. According to the Index, the first year of marriage is the hardest, with people married for less than a year less satisfied with life than people in any other year of marriage. The reason? Financial stresses caused by paying off a wedding, and buying a home.

Those in the first year of ‘wedded bliss’ have an average score of 73.9 – well towards the bottom of the ‘normal’ range. However, if they persevere, this score climbs significantly during the second year to 78.4, reaching a peak in couples who have spent 40 years or more together.

Are you single and satisfied? What percentage score would you give yourself? Use the comments box below to discuss this news story.

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About the Author

Lizzy has more than ten years’ experience in the print and digital publishing arena and is the Editor at Single File. Having moved from the UK to Australia in 2008, Lizzy has worked for a number of leading publishers in Sydney and has particular expertise in the health, wellness and travel markets. If you have any questions for Lizzy, you can send them across by email to lizzy@singlefile.com.au.

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