British study: “Inequality affects the population’s life satisfaction”

Rich countries that allow inequality to spread are making their citizens unhappy. This is according to a study by scientists at the University of Leicester, based on a study conducted in 78 countries over four decades.

“Until now, it was widely believed that inequality did not have a significant effect on life satisfaction,” notes study leader David Bartram, professor of sociology at the University of Leicester. “for us New study It makes clear, however, that there is no basis for this assumption.”


“After all, when inequality increases, many higher incomes also appear with a loss of life satisfaction, because they often reflect the category with more, so that they still feel disadvantaged,” he explains.

On the one hand, the people who have to fend for themselves at low income, on the other hand, are more backward due to the increase in inequality. This group feels neglected and frustrated because they cannot keep up with even the middle-income class.”

Bartram refers, among other things, to the United Kingdom. Scholars argue: “The country was in the midst of an economic recession in the early 1980s.”

“Life satisfaction was recorded at 77 percent at that time. However, during the subsequent economic boom, inequality also grew, with the result that life satisfaction had fallen to 74 percent by the end of the last century.”

When measures were taken to reduce inequality, life satisfaction slowly began to recover. Four years ago, a life satisfaction rate of 78 percent could have been reported again.”

A lesson for policy makers

“However, the UK data is mirrored in the rest of the world,” Bartram added. “In rich countries, increasing inequality has had a significant negative impact on life satisfaction. In most rich countries, inequality has continued to increase in recent decades.”

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The negative association between higher inequality and lower life satisfaction can be found everywhere. Any country that moved from the lowest level to the highest inequality would have had to score a loss of about 4 per cent in life satisfaction.”

In India, life satisfaction was recorded at 67 per cent in the early 1990s. As inequality increased, that number dropped to 58 percent a decade later.

Ten years ago, despite the prolonged economic boom, life satisfaction in India was lower than it was two decades ago.

“The United States and Australia also showed a significant decrease in life satisfaction,” Bartram added. By contrast, countries where inequality has decreased — such as Poland, Peru, Mexico, and Ukraine — have shown increased levels of happiness overall. “

“This is an important lesson for policy makers,” Bartram says. “Inequality is important. Inequality harms the population’s life satisfaction. Therefore, efforts must be made to achieve greater equality.”


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