A happy lot

The World Happiness Report classifies older people in Malta among the happiest in the world

According to a well-established international study, older people in Malta are among the happiest in the world. In fact, only in 30 other countries around the world are the elderly reported to have a better level of happiness than in Malta. 

The study, entitled World Happiness Report, is prepared by the United Nations agency, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the renowned Gallup organisation, and the Wellbeing Research Centre of the University of Oxford in England. This study covers 143 countries around the world, including Malta.

It is only in nine other euro area countries that the elderly are happier than those in Malta. The country where older people are happiest is Denmark, with a level of 7.9 out of 10. In contrast, in Malta the level of happiness of the elderly is 6.4 out of 10. The elderly in Malta are happier than those in neighbouring countries such as Italy, with a level of 6.1 out of 10, Cyprus, with 5.7 out of 10, and Greece, with 5.5 out of 10. The least happy elderly people in the world are those in Afghanistan, with a level of 1.5 out of 10. In fact, there are 60 countries in the world where the level of happiness for older people is less than 5 out of 10.

According to the report, the level of happiness of older people in Malta has grown substantially over time. In 2008, the level was around 6 out of 10, which was maintained in 2013. Since then, there has been an improvement of almost 10%.

Overall, the Maltese are in 40th place when it comes to the world happiness ranking. In the last decade there were 75 countries where happiness increased. Malta was one of them with an increase of 0.4, compared to what it was a decade ago when the level of happiness was less than 6 out of 10, or almost 8% less than now. 

Youths in Malta have a level of happiness that is marginally greater than that of our elderly, at 6.5 out of 10. The happiest young people are those in Lithuania with a level of 7.8 out of 10. 

The least happy group in Malta are people aged between 45 and 60, with a level of 6.2 out of 10, while those aged 30-44 have a level of happiness almost like that of young people. For those between 30 and 60 years old, the happiest in the world according to this study are the Finns, with a level of 7.8 out of 10.

Photo: Kampus Production

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