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Postcards from Scotland

Are the Scots happy?

Are the Scot?s happy and satisfied with life? According to a recent survey published by the Scottish government, which compares scores over 24 European countries, they are. These findings are contradictory to previous research which showed that Scottish people scored very low on these measures. The findings revealed that married people are happier, so too are older people: this supports other international findings. Despite the positives, the study also revealed a worrying discrepancy between deprived and affluent areas: those in the most deprived areas of Scotland are twice as likely to score below the average for happiness compared to the least deprived areas.

Carol, The Centre's Chief Executive, has written about the data in today's Scotsman and points out some reasons? why the Scot's might be scoring high on these measures e.g. shorter commutes to work, emphasis on the family and community and strong beliefs in the political process.?? While the findings are encouraging for Scottish people Carol does say that if we were to measure other important variables such as optimism, hope or resilience, for example, then the picture may be different.? For example, she suggests that the high scores for life satisfaction and happiness may actually reflect a hidden lack of aspiration in Scottish people which may explain why we have low business start up rates.? This is a complex picture. ?However, these results are valuable and help us to gain a better picture of Scottish beliefs which, thankfully, aren't as negative as some would say.? In addition to this, the findings reveal that maybe weather has nothing to do with happiness or satisfaction with life (Some of the colder countries were at the top of the list) To read the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey click here.? To read the Scotsman article click here

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