Happiness reaches peak in our eighties

Last Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 17:50 PM IST

London: Easing of responsibilities, combined with maturity and the ability to focus on our likings, makes old age far more enjoyable than we might expect.

We are happier as we grow older because our best arrives only in ripe old age. Satisfaction and optimism steadily increase after middle age, easily eclipsing the earlier years and peaking as late as the eighties.

This is greatly increased by having good health, a stable income and good relationships with family and friends, according to scientists, the Telegraph reports.

Lewis Wolpert, emeritus professor of biology at University College London, who explained the findings in a new book "You`re Looking Very Well", said most people were "averagely happy" in their teens and twenties, declining until early middle age as they try to support a family and a career.

He added: "But then, from the mid-forties, people tend to become ever more cheerful and optimistic, perhaps reaching a maximum in their late seventies or eighties."

A study published by the American National Academy of Sciences, based on a survey of 341,000 people, found that enjoyment of life dwindled throughout early adulthood, but began an upward trend in the late forties, and continued to increase until reaching peak at 85.

IANS