How Men And Women Cope In A Recession –
Men Will Fare Worse Because For THEM, MONEY Equals Happiness: Nielsen
Women Depend On Relationships For Happiness, And Are Happier Than Men Today
Auckland, New Zealand 9 December 2008: As the world grapples with a global recession and financial markets remain volatile, many people are reminding themselves that money can’t buy happiness. Men however, beg to differ.
Results of a global happiness survey from The Nielsen Company reveal that men are happier with money, while women are happier with friendships and relationships with their children, co-workers and bosses.
“Because they are happier with non-economic factors, women’s happiness is more recession-proof, which might explain why women around the world are happier in general than men are,” said Susanna Baggaley, Executive Director, The Nielsen Company, New Zealand.
The 51-country Nielsen Happiness Study, which polled 28,153 respondents online in May 2008, found that globally, women are happier than men in 48 of the 51 countries surveyed, and only in Brazil, South Africa and Vietnam were men found to be happier than women. Japanese women reported the greatest difference and are 15 percent happier than Japanese men. Women are also more optimistic about the future, scoring higher than men on predictions of their happiness in the next six months.
Globally, women were also happier with their sex lives although men were generally happier with their spouses. Out of all countries, New Zealand and Japan reported the greatest difference between the numbers of women who said they were happy with their sex lives compared to the number of men, who were less so, in the same countries.
Men are generally happier with their physical health than women, and this is especially pronounced in South Africa, while New Zealand men are only slightly happier with their physical health than women. Egypt bucks the trend, with women rating their happiness with their health considerably higher than men.
Globally, men rated their happiness with their mental health higher than women. This was echoed in New Zealand, Belgium, South Korea, Mexico, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Egypt, and Israel.
According to the Nielsen survey, there are three main drivers of happiness globally: personal financial situation, mental health and job/career. Being satisfied with your partner is also important for happiness in many markets and in New Zealand it was found that women were slightly happier in their relationship with their spouse than men.
As well as gauging levels of happiness, the Nielsen survey examined what specific factors contributed to happiness around the world. “Happiness is a local and personal matter and Nielsen sought to uncover what specific factors contribute to making people happy in different parts of the world,” said Baggaley. “Many of the world’s poorer and emerging markets outranked developed countries for happiness and satisfaction levels in nearly all aspects of their lives.”
What are Kiwis most satisfied with in their lives?
According to the Nielsen survey, New Zealanders lead the Asia-Pacific region when it comes to being satisfied with their natural surroundings, environmental pollution levels and the global environmental situation. However, we are amongst the least happy in the region with our physical health, sex lives and personal finances.
What Makes People Around the World Happy?
Globally, Lithuanians and Indonesians are most reliant on their personal financial situation and job for happiness, while South Africans and Venezuelans ranked the least dependent on money for their happiness.
Venezuelans were also the world’s least dependent on mental health for happiness (together with the Czechs), while the Mexicans and Columbians were happiest with their mental health today, and South Koreans and Japanese the least.
Personal relationships are paramount to Venezuelans, as they ranked their relationships with their boss, co-workers, friends and parents as key factors to their happiness.
Asian tiger nations of Vietnam and Indonesia topped global rankings for considering access to information (unbiased news, internet access) and their sex life as strong drivers to happiness. The voracious shoppers from these two emerging retail markets also led Vietnamese and Indonesians to add choices and variety of places to shop as another important factor for their happiness.
The Swiss and Finns topped global rankings for choosing their physical health as a top driver of happiness, while the Finns and Australians considered the state of their mental health as a key happiness driver.
The Swiss and Vietnamese stated their relationship with their boss as a strong happiness driver - something employers in Switzerland and Vietnam should be well aware of. The survey also found that in the USA and Poland, consumers considered their relationship with co-workers a strong happiness factor, even more important to their happiness than relationships with their own family!
Some other findings were less surprising. Asian nations of Vietnam and Japan with their strong traditional family culture topped global rankings for considering their relationships with their parents as a strong happiness factor – while this was of less significance to the Danes and Czechs.
Consumers in the emerging economic nation of China, along with Czech consumers, ranked their nation’s economic situation as a strong driver for happiness.
In Asian nations of Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong and China, consumers said their local and national government, as well as fairness in society (legal and economic rights) were a strong factor in their personal happiness.
Chinese and Singaporeans ranked the highest globally as happiest with their national government, while Singaporeans (along with Norwegians) ranked happiest in the world in having fairness in their society.
The Swedish, Taiwanese and Japanese are least likely to pin their personal happiness down to the state of their economy – which might be a good thing given the global state of economic affairs currently!
Nielsen looked closely at survey results to find out if a nation’s happiness level was influenced by low income inequality, low corruption or peace. Surprisingly, markets which performed poorly on these factors were in many cases the happiest nations.
“For consumers in rapidly developing markets, there could be a greater sense of appreciation for things that bring a better life than they had a few years ago,” added Baggaley.
About The Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey
The Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey, conducted by Nielsen Consumer Research, was conducted in April 2008 among 28,153 Internet users in 51 markets from Europe, Asia Pacific, North America and the Middle East. The Nielsen global happiness index is based on consumers’ current and anticipated levels of happiness. Nielsen conducted a driver analysis between sources of happiness (mental health, access to information, relationship with spouse, etc) and overall happiness scores. Further analysis revealed which sources had a stronger relationship with overall happiness within each country and across countries.
About The Nielsen Company
The Nielsen Company is a global information and media company with leading market positions in marketing information, media information, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek). The privately held company is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA. For more information, please visit, www.nielsen.com
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