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Relationship between happiness and age.
IMPORTANT: Do not compare one graph with the other, trend is relative to the country.  
Fascinating data. Relatively speaking (comparing the edges) I'm surprised US teens are not happier. Sadly the really good stuff is past the average life expectancy!  

My hypothesis is that if you live beyond 75, you are likely in better health, more financially well off and more likely to have that happiness upswing.

China and Lat Am (which is not a country if you are curious) are interesting. I wonder if that is because of the nuclear family structures were parents and grand parents all stay together and kids have deep responsibilities for parents, unlike in the western world. In India that is true as well, family responsibility carried by the kids.

Of course the most depressing graph (again, don't compare countries) is Russia. It starts very optimistic and then everything simply goes downhill.

The usual caveats about survey data, perhaps sampling bias etc apply.  Even with all that, fascinating data and food for thought. Interesting to reflect on your own life and consider how you would draw the curve/straight line.

PS: What is your theory about what is going on in the UK? I've not lived there. 

Data source, methodology etc: http://goo.gl/rPC8ty
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19 comments
 
Wow - people seem to find a lot of joy in outliving their peers.  

I'm in the UK and can shed no light on those results I am afraid.  I do though feel slightly disappointed that I don't see more joy filled 95 year olds dancing in the streets.
 
Feeling like a statistical boson particle right now. I'm in the place and age to start being happier than yesterday.. we (spain?) don't even have average life expentancy!
 
My grandfather is 90. He had a reasonably well funded retirement, still has a couple surviving friends and my grandmother is still alive, but in a special care facility. He's also a strong Christian, but I often find him weeping. I wouldn't say he's happy or any happier than people I know half his age.

He was a golfer, a fisherman and a long standing GM employee that retired with a pension. He trained fighter pilots in WWII, but never saw combat personally. He has a relatively happy, healthy extended family and he never had to watch any of his children or grandchildren die.

Maybe he's an outlier. Or maybe 90 year olds are better at faking happy. 
 
What does the open circle in the curves represent?
 
very interesting my graph as i believe goes up though i am from an Arab country 
 
+Paula Allen On the first graph they have a legend, they might have had it on all. It is Average Life Expectancy. 
 
I wonder whether this is more about age or more about when they were born. For instance, of the same people were asked in 10 years would the graph be the same or shift by a decade?
 
"Unhappiness is more common than happiness. Who told you that you should be happy? You've come to an age that you should grow up and be responsible about such things. When I was your age I had many friends. ALL are dead. Happiness is neither here nor there." - Ragnar
 
As your mind starts to go, you tend to be happier....
 
Perfect Mix: growing up in Germany - enjoying retirement in the UK :)
 
What's crazy is the chart matches almost exactly my experience in the US. I thought it was all due to personal fault/mistakes/choices - but perhaps it does relate to society at large.

I can say that 15-25 was largely a time of low responsibility, and you're expected to be "selfish" and figure things out.

26+ has really been a time when you're expected to get serious, make more money - you essentially have WAY more responsibility than at 15-25 and you are less able to 'be in the moment' and you're constantly stressing about the future.

Note that my wife and I don't have kids, which is part of the equation for most people in our age bracket it seems.
 
I think that big dip in happiness in 35 - 55 year mark is surely because many people are dealing with raising teenagers!
 
So in Latin America, we are forever happy, regardless of age?  (I'm British, but live in Latin America where I've been for the last 15 years).  Must be an April fools joke.....
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