Women find happiness is not about the economy, stupid

Tue Dec 9, 2008 12:25pm EST
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Men are happier with money, while women find greater joy in friendships and relationships with their children, co-workers and bosses, a new global survey reveals.

The online survey of 28,153 people in more than 51 countries by global marketing and information firm Nielsen found that as the world grapples with a recession and financial markets remain volatile, many people are reminding themselves that money can't buy happiness.

The Nielsen Happiness Study found that globally, women are happier than men in 48 of the 51 countries surveyed in April 2008, and only in Brazil, South Africa and Vietnam were men found to be happier than women.

"Because they are happier with non-economic factors, women's happiness is more recession-proof which might explain why women around the world are happier in general than men are," Nielsen Vice President of Consumer Research Bruce Paul said in a statement.

Japanese women reported the greatest difference and are 15 percent happier than Japanese men. Women are also more optimistic about the future, scoring higher than men on predictions of their happiness in the next six months.

Women were also more content with their sex lives, although men were generally happier with their spouses, the study found. Japanese and New Zealand women reported the greatest difference in satisfaction with their sex lives.

Men are generally happier with their physical health than women, and this is especially pronounced in South Africa. Egypt bucks the trend, with women rating their happiness with their health considerably higher than men.

Globally, men rated their happiness with their mental health higher than women. This was echoed in Belgium, South Korea, Mexico, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Egypt, and Israel.

There are three main drivers of happiness globally, according to the study: personal financial situation, mental health and job/career. Being satisfied with your partner is also important for happiness.   Continued...

<p>A woman works in Shanghai Stock Exchange room in Shanghai, April 27, 2007. REUTERS/Nir Elias</p>