Home » Trending Health News » Life Satisfaction Dips When People Hit Middle Age, Study Finds

Life Satisfaction Dips When People Hit Middle Age, Study Finds

A new study finds that people living in the West tend to feel less happy once they hit middle age. That sets Westerners apart from people in Eastern Europe and Latin America, where happiness declines gradually over time.

The study, which is based on survey data from more than 160 countries (covering approximately 98 per cent of the global population), was carried out by researchers at The Lancet.

The researchers found that men and women in high-income English-speaking countries in the West — like England and the United States — tended to report lower life satisfaction once they hit the age of 45. These life satisfaction rates remained low until age 54, when satisfaction rates started to rise once again.

Angus Deaton, a researcher at Princeton University who contributed to the study, says economics may play an important role in determining how middle-aged people feel about their lives. “This is the period at which wage rates typically peak and is the best time to work and earn the most, even at the expense of present wellbeing, so as to have increased wealth and wellbeing later in life,” Deaton said.

The middle-age dip in Western countries is rather unique. In Latin America and Eastern Europe feelings of satisfaction tended to decline steadily with age. Overall, life satisfaction rates were lower in these regions when compared to the West.

The lowest life satisfaction rates can be seen in sub-Saharan Africa, where stress and worry tend to be quite high. “The findings undoubtedly show the recent experiences of the region and the distress that these events have brought to older people,” Deaton said.


We Recommend

More on ActiveBeat

  • 6 Reasons Hangovers Get Worse with Age
    I turned the big 4-0 on February 13th. Now it might be all in my head, but my body responds to a night of drinking a lot differently than it did when I was in my 20s, early 30s, or...
    Trending Health News
  • 10 Wise Health Adages from Mom
    “Don’t sit so close to the television!”, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!”, “Stop slouching!
    Trending Health News
  • 8 Special Health Challenges for Aging Adults
    The world’s population is aging quickly. The number of adults over the age of 60 will double in the next three decades.
    Trending Health News
  • 13 Foods that Naturally Boost Collagen Production
    There’s a lot of buzz around collagen in the beauty world right now. A structural protein, collagen is found throughout the body in the muscles, bones, and tendons.
    Trending Health News
  • The Top 9 Best Countries for Long Life Expectancy
    If you plan to live to a ripe old age, the good news is that according to the World Health Organization (or WHO), we are living approximately 10-percent longer than we were in...
    Trending Health News
  • Detroit Woman Now World's Oldest Living Person
    A Detroit, Michigan, woman is now the world’s oldest living person. Jeralean Talley is a remarkable 115 years old.
    Trending Health News
  • The 10 Biggest Regrets When Facing Mortality
    I’ll admit that my curiosity was peeked when I found the article written by Bronnie Ware, the palliative nurse who worked for many years caring for patients in their final weeks...
    Trending Health News
  • Tai Chi Could Slow the Aging Process, Study Finds
    Anti-wrinkle creams, radical diets, plastic surgery -- people will do just about anything to stop (or at least pretend to stop) the aging process.
    Trending Health News
  • 10 Age-Defying Lifestyle Changes
    There's an endless supply of ads that focus on age-defying products to make you look younger and claim to reverse many of the harm natural aging has had on your body, especially in...
    Trending Health News
  • 7 Bad Habits That Accentuate Wrinkles
    While many of my friends, colleagues, and family members attest to the fact that they’ve earned their wrinkles—there are plenty of daily habits that accelerate the process.
    Trending Health News
  • 8 Ways for Men and Women to Survive a Mid-Life Crisis
    You may joke about middle-aged men (and women) buying a sports car when they hit 50, but there's actually some truth behind the fabled mid-life crisis.
    Trending Health News
  • Infographic: Assistive Technology for the Elderly
    With advanced age often comes muscular and skeletal issues, injuries, and even memory and communicative difficulties due to Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease.
    Trending Health News
  • 8 Habits That Make You Age Faster
    With the possible exception of teenagers, just about everyone wants to look younger. That's why the age-defying industry -- which includes everything from skin creams to fruit...
    Trending Health News
  • Video: Eating for Energy for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
    For patients living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), nutrition is a vital component of physical energy.
    Trending Health News
  • Video: Children Embrace the Golden Age of Recess for Heart Health
    February is Heart Month. No, not Valentine's Day (although that's a thing too), but a month dedicated to cardiovascular health for individuals of all ages.
    Trending Health News