Money more important than marriage in South Africa

Economic status influences South Africans' levels of happiness, whereas marital status does not, says a new market research.

Economic status influences South Africans' levels of happiness, whereas marital status does not, says a new market research.

As is the case elsewhere in the world, South Africans who are materially better off report relatively greater levels of personal wellbeing.

But, whereas marriage is a recipe for higher levels of happiness in the industrialised world, research suggests it plays no significant role in influencing South Africans' happiness levels.

The findings emanate from statistical research conducted under the auspices of Economic Research Southern Africa, an academic research unit based at the University of Cape Town.

In "What is the structure of South African Happiness Equations?", Timothy Hinks and Carola Gruen examine South African data to establish whether what makes people in the developed world happy, applies to South Africa, too.

In establishing what South Africans' happiness levels look like, Hinks and Gruen attempt to determine whether there is a uniform underlying structure of happiness for people across the world.

Their finding that being unemployed significantly and negatively affects happiness is consistent with results elsewhere in the world.

The size of household income and the relative level of household income also contribute to happiness, they find.

Whereas being married is associated with higher happiness levels in the developed world, there appears to be no significant relationship between marital status and wellbeing in South Africa.

Hinks and Gruen say this is regardless of whether the respondents are common-law partners, traditional marriage partners or legally married. - Staff Reporter

X