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Life satisfaction is low at 40, but is U-shaped so will rise again

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Life satisfaction is low at 40, but is U-shaped so will rise again

Research by Professor Andrew Oswald on the ‘midlife crisis’ finds that life satisfaction gradually declines from early adulthood to its lowest point between the ages of 40 to 42, before rising again until the age of 70.

The paper will be published in the forthcoming issue of the Economic Journal and has recently been featured in national news publications including The Guardian, Evening Standard, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, as well as a number of international newspapers.

Professor Oswald’s research tracked 50,000 adults in Australia, Britain and Germany throughout their lives and is the first truly longitudinal study to monitor human happiness and wellbeing across the life cycle.

The research appears to confirm the theory that a person’s happiness throughout the course of their life is U-shaped. By compiling data tracking the lives of tens of thousands of people over decades, and across different locations, Andrew Oswald, Terence Cheng and Nick Powdthavee found that the U-shape phenomenon is not limited to specific countries but it is universal.


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