Beautiful beaches, unmatched weather and unlimited sunshine. There’s a lot of reasons to be happy when living in California, but a new study suggests your age may play a significant role in just how happy you are.
For Californians, peak life satisfaction comes at the age of 44.
The study, conducted by Mixbook, a website that helps users create and print photography projects, found that most Californians felt the happiest when reaching middle age.
The reason, the researchers suggest, is likely because a person feels established in their career, with a stable home and (hopefully) a decent income to take care of expenses while allowing for the occasional splurging on things like shopping, dining out and going on vacations.
In total, 3,442 people aged 65 and over were asked to pinpoint the age when they felt the happiest. Californians who were polled ended up choosing the age of 44 — in line with the national average.
The survey also found that 3 in 4 people who were surveyed would choose love over wealth if given the choice between the two. About 79% said they were happy and satisfied with their careers, while 58% of those surveyed said they were happy with the personal relationships they’ve formed in their lives and are not looking for any more.
Another interesting piece of data that came from the study — more than half (52%) said the pandemic increased their satisfaction in life. Spending more time with loved ones, the ability to work from home and a greater appreciation of one’s health and well-being are possible explanations for that increased satisfaction.
While the age of 44 was the average across the nation, residents in some states are feeling satisfied even earlier, while some wait a few extra decades to reach “peak happiness.”
Residents in Maryland said they felt happiest at 37, while Vermont residents didn’t feel fully satisfied with life until the ripe old age of 63. For a complete map of how each state responded, click here.
The research found that despite all the other stressors in life, what really makes a person’s heart full tends to be meaningful relationships with the people they care about.
“While what drives our satisfaction may vary, our relationships with friends and family, and our time together, are at the core of human happiness,” said Leslie Albertson, director of marketing at Mixbook.