• Austria's news in English

Only 'one in five Austrians is happy'

The Local · 2 Sep 2014, 11:25

Published: 02 Sep 2014 11:25 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Austrians believe financial worries, physical pain, loneliness, stress, and frustration about work all contribute to a reduced sense of well-being.

This may come as a surprise as previous surveys have shown Austria to be one of the happiest nations. One study published at the beginning of 2014 said that four out of five Austrians are happy with life.

“In fact, many Austrians don’t reflect this finding,” the private Modul University said in a press release.

Dr Ivo Ponocny, head of the Department for Applied Statistics and Economics at Modul University said that he believes many well-being surveys have given misleading results as they rely on ‘closed’ questions and multiple choice answers, as a more complete evaluation tends to be very time consuming. In this situation respondents tend to avoid making negative generalizations about their lives.

"Positive figures must not be falsely interpreted as proof of unburdened happiness," Dr Ponocny said.

Over a period of two years Dr Ponocny carried out 550 interviews in ten Austrian locations, asked 335 participants to complete well-being diaries and received 1,432 detailed questionnaires.

He and his team were able to identify specific regional differences.

People who lived in big cities complained about living in a built-up, urban environment and said that the quality of care for children and elderly people had a negative impact on their well-being.

Dr Ponocny said that personal circumstances obviously affected people’s happiness but that “generally speaking non-smoking, married couples and people with higher education reported the least dissatisfaction - although it was more a case of ‘satisfaction’ increasing along with education and income, rather than ‘happiness.’”

Story continues below…

Although only represented by a small sample, self-declared ‘house husbands’ were the happiest participants in the study. Women were more likely to feel less happy if they deemed themselves to be unattractive, and older men were more likely to suffer from an unfulfilled sex life which had a negative effect on their well-being.  

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Verdict on swimming pool rape case overturned
The Theresienbad swimming pool in Vienna. Photo: Wikimedia

An Iraqi refugee who was jailed after claiming it was a sexual emergency when he raped a boy in a swimming pool has had the sentence overturned.

Vienna Comic Con promises to be 'bigger and more galactic'
Cosplay star Yaya Han. Copyright: Yaya Han/Bryan Humphrey

Comic Con returns to the Austrian capital on November 19th-20th at the Messe Wien.

Three refugees arrested on drugs charges
Cannabis plants. Photo: J. Patrick Bedell/Wikimedia

A gang of three Afghani drug dealers has been busted in Vienna.

Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

Austrian policeman sentenced over 'Heil Hitler' salute
Photo: Flickr

A policeman in Austria was sentenced on Thursday for shouting "Heil Hitler" at a driver during a traffic check at the Hungarian border in April.

Scary clown craze endangers crucial work of clown 'doctors'
Photo: Bojan Tavcar

Within the last couple weeks, disturbing events involving masked individuals has caught public attention in Austria.

Chimney sweep rescues lost mushroom picker
Photo: James Lindsey/Wikimedia

A 76-year-old Austrian man who went out mushroom picking almost froze to death after getting lost and spending the night in the forest.

Refugees sold into forced prostitution
File photo: UNHCR

Female refugees are being sold into forced prostitution in Austria, a police investigation into human trafficking has found.

Driverless bus takes a spin around Salzburg's old town
The Arma driverless shuttle bus. Photo: Navya

A driverless minibus has made a test journey in the city of Salzburg.

No jail time for asylum seeker who dumped baby in road
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A man who grabbed his own child and dumped her in the middle of a busy road has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available