Women start out as happy young adults but by midlife wind up the sadder sex, says a new study on satisfaction related to financial circumstances and family life, which past research has shown play a significant role in well-being and happiness.
The age-old debate is put to the test.
Researchers analyzed decades of national data on 47,000 men and women to create a statistical model that shows women's happiness decreases, while men's increases, exceeding women's by age 48.
"Our approach looks at the aspirations people have and how well they fulfill them," says economist Anke Plagnol, at the University of Cambridge in England, the study's lead author.
"Satisfaction depends on how far people fulfill their aspirations," she says.