At What Age Are People Happiest?

We’ve all been led to believe that our youth will be the best time of our lives. But with science, we can now prove that theory wrong. According to a London School of Economics and Political Sciences study, you’ll be most happy at ages 23 and 69. Twenty-three thousand adults between the ages of 17 to 85 were surveyed on their levels of happiness. These were the two ages at which happiness peaked.

As We Age, We Also Grow Wiser

And along with that comes other joyful qualities. Research shows that the older you are, the more self-assured and content you become. Those in their 60s are happier and, according to a recent study, they’re also more self-confident than those in their younger decades. Another study found that younger participants were more likely to describe happiness when they felt elated or ecstatic. Those who were older expressed feeling happy when they were calm, relaxed, or untroubled, rooted more in being content with the present rather than getting excitable over what’s ahead. According to the study’s authors, this change is likely attached to increased feelings of connectedness to those around you and the current moment as you age. The study was conducted over a significant time. Researchers asked their participants to predict how happy they expected to feel in five years’ time — and then they had them take the survey again five years later. It was published that the average level of happiness among participants took place on a U-curve, with ages 23 and 69 on either side.

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If we think about what’s generally taking place in people’s lives at this time, it doesn’t sound that far-fetched to think that they would be feeling much happier. When you’re around the age of 23, you’re fresh out of college, bright-eyed and hopeful. You are about to take off on what you’re anticipating will be a promising career and future. It feels like you have all the opportunities at your feet. Even if it doesn’t work out that way, 23 is still quite an optimistic age. On the other side, when you’re 69, you’re probably recently retired, enjoying being at home at 11 a.m., and doing whatever if you want. Sounds like a dream, right?