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Married people consistently most likely to characterize themselves as 'very happy': report

A new study reveals that married people have consistently been more likely to characterize themselves as “very happy” than non-married people over the course of nearly a half-century, with marital status serving as the most significant determinant of an individual’s level of happiness.

A report titled “The Socio Political Demography of Happiness,” authored by Sam Peltzman of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, examines the trends of the General Social Survey conducted by the NORC at the University of Chicago over the past half-century. The General Social Survey, which dates back to 1972 and has been conducted biennially since 1990, asks respondents, “How would you say things are these days — would you say that you are very happy, pretty happy, or not too happy?”

Peltzman’s report, released July 21, reveals that “marital status is and has been a very important marker for happiness.” He analyzed the responses to the question about happiness in all the various General Social Surveys conducted since 1972, excluding ...