THE Isle of Man is one of the happiest countries in the world.
That is the latest finding of the Manx People Power survey, a pre-election telephone poll of a representative sample of 1,055 people, conducted by HPI Research.
Those polled were asked: ‘How happy are you with the overall quality of your life?’
The choice of answers was very happy, satisfied, disappointed, very unhappy, no real feelings and don’t know.’
Some 60 per cent of interviewees described themselves as very happy and 35 per cent were satisfied.
Women were happier than men – 63 per cent compared with 56 per cent.
Geographically, those living in the south of the island were happiest, with 66 per cent of respondents saying they were very happy.
In addition, people in social group AB were happier than those in social group DE – 63 per cent were very happy compared with 56 per cent.
The survey, commissioned by Hugh Davidson, found ‘no significant differences’ between those born in the island and those born elsewhere.
Happiness levels were broadly similar for all age groups, except 45-59-year-olds who were not quite so happy (54 per cent very happy).
An HPI Research spokesman said there were no direct comparisons for other countries in 2011, but said it was likely the island compared ‘very well indeed’.
In the World Values Survey of more 50 countries, only one scored higher than 60 per cent very happy. And in six MORI polls conducted between 1991 and 2007, the UK averaged only 37 per cent very happy.
The spokesman said: ‘The level of happiness in the Isle of Man is much higher than the vast majority of countries in the world, especially the UK. This finding is consistent with the high levels of satisfaction among Isle of Man residents on education, health, social services, and law and order.’
In the 2005 Freedom to Flourish research, HPI Research asked the same question of island residents. It found 58 per cent were very happy.
This research was linked to an identical study of 30 countries by GfK/NOP.
The island ranked top for happiness, ahead of Australia (43 per cent very happy). The UK scored 32 per cent and was fifth equal.
The spokesman said: ‘Happiness rankings in the Isle of Man have continued at a high level between 2005 and 2011, through the world financial crises.’
The 2005 research in the island showed the most important elements contributing to the good life are health, financial security, owning your own home, a happy marriage, control over one’s life, and an interesting job. Personal security/low crime is always important.
The HPI Research spokesman said there was a misconception that good climate, beautiful beaches and great food were big factors in determining quality of life:
‘That is not so. France, Italy and Spain for instance, consistently gain mediocre scores.
‘The big question for the island is whether it can maintain its high quality of life, in the context of a 36 per cent cut in government income, after the two VAT raids, one following so closely on top of the first.
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