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Most elderly are happy with lives

While opinion polls usually paint France as a country with the blues, 84% of over-70s say they are happy

30 September 2015

THE VAST majority of France’s elderly population is happy with with life, according to a new poll.

The Observatoire de l'âge found 84% of the over-70s classed themselves as happy, with a quarter of them saying that the older they got, the happier they got.

As far as their factors for happiness were concerned, health was raised by 53%, social circle by 52%, and getting the most out of life by 25%.

The study of 1100 over-70s, which was published to mark the UN International Day of Older Persons, was carried out by Viavoice for Harmonie Mutuelle, L'Express et France Inter.

The figure claiming to be happy only dipped slightly for residents in care homes, where 72% of people (with an average age of 88) said that they were happy.

While 25% said that they were getting happier year on year, 24% also agreed that this would stop after a certain age.

On the contrary, 31% believed that the older they got, the less happy the became and the number of people describing themselves as “very happy” had dropped compared with previous surveys, from 37% in 2013 to 27% in 2015.

As for the keys to happiness: 19% put it down to disciplined living with healthy food and sport, 19% to having contact with friends and family, and 16%, the hedonists, to going out with friends and not worrying about health.

Average life expectancy in France is 85 years for women and 79 for men.

Photo:Flickr/Patrick Doheny

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