Data Source The data are from the 1998 General Social Survey of the United States Population N = 2832
Dependent Variable HAPPY? Taken all together, how would you say things are these days? Would you say that you are very happy, pretty happy or not too happy?
Independent Variables MARITAL – Are you currently – married, divorced, separated or have you never been married? INCOME – In which of these groups did your total family income from all sources fall last year, before taxes that is? –less than $22,500 –$22,500 to $49,999 –$50,000 plus OVER50: Respondent’s Age is Under or Over 50
Percent “Very Happy” MarriedDivorced or Widowed Never Married 43.5%23.2%18.3%
Marital Status and Happiness For the sample as a whole, married people are significantly happier than those who are widowed or divorced or who never married. This relationship is statistically significant at the.000 level by chi-square test. However, divorced and widowed people are likely to be older than average, and this might effect their happiness.
Percent “Very Happy” for respondents under 50 years old MarriedDivorced or Widowed Never Married 41.7%19.5%19.9%
Marital Status and Happiness for those under 50 years of age The results for those under 50 are very similar to those for the sample as a whole. Marriage seems to lead to happiness for younger people But perhaps this is due to income. Married people have a larger family income which may make them happier
Percent “Very Happy” Income under $22,500 Income $22,500 to $49,999 Income over $50,000 22.2%29.7%42.0%
Money and Happiness The data show that people with a family income above $50,000 are significantly happier The causal relationships are ambiguous Marriage may have led to both a higher income and happiness. But does marriage add happiness even for those with a higher income?
Marriage and Happiness for people with a family income above $50,000 a year MarriedDivorced or Widowed Never Married 47.6%30% 22.2%
Conclusion Even among those with a high income, married people are much happier This suggests that marriage brings both a higher family income and happiness The relationship between income and happiness may be spurious