Well-being in Ireland

About what makes you happy

Much research has been carried out on the things that are important for our happiness, in other words, the things that make us most happy, or most unhappy in life. This question lists the main things that research suggests contribute to our happiness, and asks you about the extent to which you agree or disagree about their importance in your own life. The questions are organised by different areas of life (health, education etc.). Please rate each aspect in terms of how important it is for your own happiness (10 = extremely important, 0 = not at all important). Where you do not have direct experience of the area, please try to still answer as best you can.
1. Your Health
Being in good physical health
Being in good mental health
Engaging in regular physical activity
Having an above average life expectancy (e.g. living into your 80s or beyond)
Feeling healthier than others around you
2. How you spend your time
Having a job
Satisfaction, or fulfillment in work
Good working conditions (job security, length of holidays, flexibility etc.)
Spending quality time with family
Having sufficient amount of time to do things you like doing
Feeling like you have more free time than others around you
Attending religious service regularly
Spirituality/belief in a God
Completing the Leaving Certificate, or equivalent
Staying in education beyond 18
Being a member of an organisation (e.g. union, sports team, church etc.)
Participating in voluntary or community work
Having access to cultural activities
3. Your relationships.
Having good quality friendships
Having children
Living in a partnership with someone
Being married (over and above living in a partnership with someone)
Having a lot of social connections outside of friends and family (e.g. neighbours, colleagues etc.)
4. Your finances
Feeling like you have enough to live comfortably
Being able to afford the things that other people can afford
Being wealthy
Feeling like you earn a bit more than those around you
5. The society you live in
Being able to trust most people
Being able to trust most institutions (e.g. political parties, police, companies)
Feeling a connection to a place, or community
Feeling a sense of national pride
Living in a society with equality of income (i.e. where the gap between the highest and lowest paid is minimised)
Living in a society with opportunities for social mobility (i.e. most people have equal chance of having a good career and income, irrespective of the income, or occupation of parents)
Living in a society with equality in terms of gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity
Living in a society with a generous welfare state
Living in a society with good quality public services
Living in a democracy
Living in a society in which most people have a good level of education
Living in a society where each generation has a longer life expectancy than the previous one
6. How you feel about yourself
Feeling like you are a 'good' person
Being happy with yourself (i.e. having self-esteem)
Having control over important aspects of your life
Having a sense of direction in your life
Feeling like your life is worthwhile
Feeling like you are doing better than other people
7. Where you live
Living in a house you like
Living in an area you like
Living in a house or area that is nicer than where other people live
Living in an unpolluted environment
Living in a rural area
8. If you think there was anything missing from the list please add it here
9. If you added other items in Question 8 please rate them in order of how you have listed them
Other 1
Other 2
Other 3
10. Can you choose the level of gross household income above which you think earning more would no longer increase your happiness? Gross household income refers to the total income of you and other family members living with you before you pay any tax.
11. Research also suggests some things that limit our happiness, and these are listed below. Please rate each in relation to your own happiness (10 = very negative and 0 = not at all negative).
Feeling less healthy than others
Being unemployed
Having a long commute
Being in a job you dislike
Feeling like other people have better jobs than you
Feeling like other people have more free time than you
Having caring responsibilities (e.g. for family members other than children)
Feeling lonely
Children or family members being in poor health
Feeling like other people earn much more than you
Being in debt
Struggling with day-to-day finances
Feeling like other people are doing better in life than you
Feeling like other people have better housing than you
Living in a densely populated area (e.g. a city)
Living close to 'disamenities" (e.g. landfill, airports etc.)
Having poor quality local transport
Living in overcrowded conditions
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