Swedes are both happy and content with their lives, reveals a report from the SOM Institute at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. The factors that contribute most to a sense of wellbeing are good health, family and friends, a good home and personal finances. Clothes and appearance play only a very minor role.
More and more Swedes are describing themselves as happy and content. When the SOM Institute asked: "On balance, how content are you with the life you live?" and "On balance, how happy would you say you are?", nine out of ten replied that they are both content and happy. Not entirely unexpectedly, there also turned out to be a strong correlation between happiness and contentedness.
Good health is the most important factor for Swedes' personal wellbeing, followed by family, good friends, having a good (and safe) place to live, and healthy personal finances.
The factors at the bottom of the list include religious faith, political commitment, looking good, an exciting life and wearing nice clothes.
The report also shows that contentment can vary considerably from one area of our life to another - we are generally more content with family life than with our work/studies or finances.
The report's authors are Bengt Brülde, docent in practical philosophy at the University of Gothenburg, and Åsa Nilsson, research administrator at the SOM Institute.
SOM report 2010:16 Vad gör oss nöjda med våra liv? - domäntillfredsställelse och viktighetsbedömningar (What makes us happy with our lives? Domain satisfaction and importance rankings) (Swedish only)
Authors: Bengt Brülde and Åsa Nilsson