London, Apr 27 (ANI): Having children brings an increased sense of meaning into people's lives, a new survey has revealed.
The latest measure of the country's well being by Prime Minister's national happiness survey revealed that having a child does not necessarily make people happier or more satisfied with their lot, but it does make them feel they have more of a reason for living.
The researchers also acknowledged for the first time that their figures show that married people are happier than everyone else, and that the most miserable are those who are divorced or separated.
"Although the presence of children does not alter overall life satisfaction or improve day-to-day emotions, it may bring an increased sense of meaning and purpose to people's lives," the Daily Mail quoted the report as saying,
The happiness survey is being conducted by the Office for National Statistics on the orders of David Cameron, who thinks it is important to know what matters to voters beyond what can be measured by economic statistics.
The 2 million-pound-a-year exercise, primarily based on four questions about people's sense of well-being, has been widely condemned by critics as futile and pointless.
"People who are married or in civil partnerships reported the highest average levels of life satisfaction, significantly higher than cohabiting couples.
"The lowest average rating was reported by people who are divorced or separated, including those who have dissolved civil partnerships," the report said.
The survey, carried out among 80,000 people, asked four questions - how satisfied they were with their lives, to what extent their lives were worthwhile, how happy they were yesterday, and how anxious they felt yesterday.
Typically, the answers - on a scale from one to ten - were somewhere over seven.
The report said people with children rated their satisfaction and happiness levels no differently from others.
However, it said the lowest rating for the 'worthwhile' question - 7.6 out of 10 - was given by people living in households where no children were present.This increases to between 7.8 and 7.9 out of 10 for people living with two or more children in their household.
"This finding suggests that although the presence of children does not alter overall life satisfaction or improve day-to-day emotions, it may bring an increased sense of meaning and purpose to people's lives, therefore increasing average scores for the "worthwhile" question," the report added.
Married couples, the report said, put levels of life satisfaction on average at 7.7 out of 10. Cohabiting couples scored two points lower, at 7.5 out of 10.
Single people scored 7.3, widows 6.8, and those who were divorced or separated 6.6. (ANI)
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