Responsbility is key to happiness

London: Responsibility such as marriage and bringing up a family, is just as likely to make you happy as a high-flying career, according to a new study.

Scientists at the City of London University questioned 10,000 adults at 30 and found highly educated and motivated career types were among the most satisfied with their lives. But so were those who had already settled with a partner and had a family.

In the study, the 30-year-olds were asked to rate how satisfied they were with life by choosing a number between zero and ten. The majority agreed with seven or eight.

Analysis of the finds found that young adults took four paths in life – a career, a traditonal family, late start or as part of disadvantaged families.

The most satisfied groups were the traditional family and career-focused people.

A traditional family was typically a married couple who owned their own home. They had one or two children and the man was the main breadwinner. The career types tended to have the most education, worked full-time and also owned their homes. Slow starters, who typically had no long-term partners, no children and did not own a home, were next on the happiness scale.

At the bottom were the disandadvantaged families, who tended to be less well-educated women living in rented accommodation.

Professor Schoon said: ‘Those in traditional families and those opting for a career without children reported the highest levels of satisfaction the least life stress. I was very surprised that traditional families had such good scores and slow starters had such relatively low scores.’