The Telegraph (UK) 30 May 2013
Marriage makes people happier than religious beliefs, earning six-figure salaries and having children, a study for the Office of National Statistics has found for the first time.
The ONS has found that being married is 20 times more important to a person’s well-being than their earnings, and 13 times more important than owning a home.
The figures also indicate that having children has almost no impact on a person’s day-to-day happiness, although it does make them feel life is more “worthwhile”.
The ONS analysis was based on an survey of 165,000 people, in which they were asked to rate their life in four areas: their satisfaction with life, how worthwhile they thought their life was, how happy and how anxious they felt.
For the first time, the ONS has been able to use the data to rank the factors which contribute to happiness and well-being. Health and employment are the two most important factors, with marriage or civil partnerships coming third.
On a scale of 0 to 10, married people were on average 0.14 points happier than co-habiting couples, 0.3 points happier than single people and 0.4 points happier than those who were divorced or separated.