Experienced Life Cycle Satisfaction in Europe

Robson Morgan, University of Southern California

How does life satisfaction change as people age? Is the pattern consistent across countries? Is it the same across genders and socioeconomic groups? The main propose of this article is to answer these questions. Eurobarometer data covering 17 European countries with a minimum of 17 years of coverage is used. Controlling for cohort, survey, and fixed life circumstances, graphs of average life satisfaction over the life cycle for total population, by gender, and by SES group are plotted for each country. The graphs are then compared between countries and averaged to find consistent patterns. The consistent patterns found between countries are: 1) A low in life satisfaction in middle ages followed by in increase around age 60 2) Male life satisfaction improving compared to female life satisfaction as age increases 3) Life satisfaction of higher SES groups is greater across the entire life cycle compared to lower SES groups.

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Presented in Poster Session 6: Population Aging; Gender, Race and Ethnicity