STUDY: America Gets Happier With Age
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Americans are happiest between the ages of 75 and 79, says a new report released by Gallup. They're unhappiest between the ages of 40 and 44. Mid-life crisis, anyone?
The analysis, based on more than 500,000 interviews, measured Americans' Emotional Health Index (EHI) scores. Respondents were asked whether they experienced "a lot of" smiling/laughing, learning/doing something interesting, being treated with respect, enjoyment, happiness, worry, sadness, anger and stress in their lives. They were also asked if they had been given clinical diagnoses of depression. Emotionally healthy Americans were defined as those with an EHI score of over 90 out of a maximum of 100.
The survey found that about 28 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 were emotionally healthy. Emotional health then stayed constant at about 25 percent -- or 1 in 4 Americans -- until the age of 55, after which it began to rise again. Emotional well-being reached its peak at the age of 75, with 36 percent or more than 1 in 3 Americans reporting themselves as emotionally healthy. The full results for each age group are in the slideshow below.
The results are not entirely surprising. The time between the ages of 25 and 55 is, arguably, the most stressful of one's life, with constant worries about relationships, career, finances and child rearing. Post 55, however, life predictably plateaus out.
The report concludes that, "While many other factors can influence emotional health, these results suggest that, in spite of the tendency to dread aging in the U.S., senior status may be a time to look forward to."
Here's a look at America's happiness according to age.