As the world grapples with a global recession and financial markets remain volatile, many people are reminding themselves that money can’t buy happiness. Men however, beg to differ.
Results of a global happiness survey from The Nielsen Company reveal that men are happier with money, while women are happier with friendships and relationships with their children, co-workers and bosses.
“Because they are happier with non-economic factors, women are more recession-proof, which might explain why women around the world are happier in general than men are,” said Bruce Paul, VP Consumer Research, US, The Nielsen Company.
The 51-country Nielsen Happiness Study, which polled 28,153 respondents online in May 2008, found that globally women are happier than men in 48 of the 51 countries surveyed.
Only in Brazil, South Africa and Vietnam were men found to be happier than women. Women are also more optimistic about the future, scoring higher than men on predictions of their happiness in the next six months.
Men are generally happier with their physical health than women, which is also the case in UAE. Egypt, the other country surveyed in the MENA region, bucks the trend, with women rating their happiness with their health considerably higher than men.
In UAE, men tend to be happier with their physical and mental health, their personal financial situation, their job and career and their relationship with their friends compared to women. Women, on the other hand seem, tend to be more satisfied than men with their personal religious and spiritual beliefs, their access to healthcare in UAE, and the variety of places available for them to shop.
On an overall level, UAE consumers are most satisfied with their personal security (such as freedom from crime) along with their relationships with their spouses/partners compared to respondents in other countries.
“Despite being impacted by the current global conditions, consumers in UAE are aware that their medium-to-long-term prospects remain strong. When we look around the world and see what is happening, I believe we still have a lot to be happy about” added Piyush Mathur – Regional Managing Director – Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan.
Besides gauging levels of happiness, the Nielsen survey examined what specific factors contributed to the happiness around the world. “Happiness is a local and personal matter and Nielsen sought to uncover what specific factors contribute to making people happy.” said Paul.
According to the survey, the three main drivers of happiness globally are: personal financial wellbeing, mental health, and career satisfaction. A happy relationship with one’s spouse or partner is an important fourth factor.