With Age Comes Wisdom — and Happiness

Americans grow happier as they grow older, according to a University of Chicago study that is one of the most thorough examinations of happiness ever done in America.

The study also found that baby boomers are not as content as other generations, men are less happy than women, happiness can rise and fall between eras, and that, with age the differences narrow.

“Understanding happiness is important to understanding quality of life. The happiness measure is a guide to how well society is meeting people’s needs,” said Yang Yang, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago and author of the article, “Social Inequalities in Happiness in the United States, 1972-2004: An Age-Period-Cohort Analysis,” published in the April issue of the American Sociological Review, the official journal of the American Sociological Association.

The research relies on data that social scientists consider the gold standard of happiness research—responses to questions about contentment with overall life gathered in the General Social Survey of the National Opinion Research Center, which the National Science Foundation supports at the University of Chicago.

In another study in the same issue of the journal, University of Chicago researchers reported that, contrary to popular thought, older people do stay social as they age, often volunteering, attending religious services, and spending time with their neighbors.

Did they tell Rutland residents anything new???? (You can read more from this article through the University of Chicago.)

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