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French ‘fairly happy with life’

The typical French person scores 6.8 on a happiness scale of 0-10 - and social life counts for more than money does

MOST adults in France are fairly happy, says a report, and money – though it plays a role – is no more important than good relations with others or a life without too much stress.

Research just published by national statistics body Insee shows the average French adult scores themselves as 6.8 on a scale of 0-10. Only 7% gave themselves 0-4, while 13% gave themselves top marks of 9 or 10.

The study was done in 2011 in the wake of the Stiglitz report which said France should focus more on quality of life, as opposed to just economic growth.

Those scoring under five were most likely to live in the Paris area (9.8% of this group) or to be living alone or raising children alone (10.8%); however, being in the bottom 10% of incomes was the biggest factor: 22.5% of this group.

People scoring nine or 10 were slightly more numerous than average among those aged 65 or more (15.5%) but again money played a major role - 23.4% of those in the top 10% of French incomes scored these marks.

However, Insee said its findings showed that “other aspects of quality of life, like weak social links or daily stress play as much, if not more, of a role in people’s satisfaction levels than financial resources alone”.

Social isolation was the most factor most strongly linked to scores below five, before money problems, Insee said.

Other factors likely to reduce satisfaction included poor health, poor housing conditions and feeling unsafe.

Photo: Jason Anfinsen Wikimedia Commons

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