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08 March 2011

Older parents are happier

The satisfaction of young parents decreases with their number of children, while older parents are happier than their childless peers are, research has shown.

"Children may be a long-term investment in happiness," says MPIDR demographer Mikko Myrskylä. Together with Rachel Margolis from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA, he published the new study in the journal Population and Development Review.

With a sound data basis, this study clarifies for the first time the discrepancy between the widespread belief that children bring happiness and the fact that most research finds either a negative or no significant relationship between parenthood and well being.
"Seeing the age trend of happiness independent of sex, income, partnership status and even fertility rates shows that one has to explain it from the perspective of the stage of parents life," says Mikko Myrskylä who at the MPIDR is heading the Max Planck Research Group "Lifecourse Dynamics and Demographic Change".

 
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