Money does buy you happiness, UK number-crunchers say

Fri Sep 4, 2015 12:19pm EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - Britons are more likely to rejoice in the health of their bank balance than the size of their house or car, research from the country's statisticians suggested on Friday.

Offering a closer look at the link between wealth and well-being in one of the less equal advanced economies, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) study showed Britons' life satisfaction, sense of worth and happiness increased with household wealth.

The size of assets such as bank accounts, shares, and children's' savings - which together comprise net household financial wealth - are most strongly related to personal well-being, the study showed.

By contrast, there was no significant link between net property or pension wealth and well-being.

Physical possessions like cars, art and antiques tended to increase life satisfaction among the wealthiest fifth, but otherwise had little effect.

Higher household income tended to improve life satisfaction and happiness, but did not reduce anxiety or boost self-esteem.

Inequality is a hot topic in Britain, where many workers have endured years of stagnant wages, and use of food banks has grown in recent years.

The ONS study used data from its Wealth and Assets Survey that ran through 2011 and 2012.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by John Stonestreet)

 
Put down the Maserati keys: Britons are more likely to rejoice in the health of their bank balance than the size of their house or car. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji