15 Jul 2013

Kiwis happier than Europeans, survey shows

10:08 am on 15 July 2013

A new survey shows New Zealanders are happier than most Europeans even though they rank below average in terms of personal and social well-being.

The survey was done by Auckland University of Technology and funded by insurance company, Sovereign.

The survey of almost 10,000 people found New Zealanders rank below average on most measures of well-being compared with 22 European nations but are happier than average, with fewer feelings of depression.

There is one caveat to the research: the Europeans were surveyed before the global financial crisis in 2006 while the New Zealand survey happened last year.

However the lead researcher Grant Schofield says that does not affect many measures of well-being, such as connecting within local communities, where New Zealand did worse than any European country.

Dr Schofield says there are five ways to improve well-being: be active, educate yourself, connect with people, give time and attention to others and live in the moment.