Source: The Christian Post
February 3, 2016
Statistics from Britain's national happiness index have suggested that Christians are among the happiest people in the nation, while those who don't identify with any particular religion generally scored the lowest life satisfaction numbers.
The Office for National Statistics posted numbers pertaining to several happiness and life satisfaction questions measured between April 2012 and March 2015.
The study, released Tuesday, found that Christians, with all denominations grouped together, reported an average mean of life satisfaction at 7.60. This was the highest mean in the table, alongside Hindus, who also posted the same number. The groups with the lowest average score were the non-religious at 7.41, and the "any other religion" group, at 7.31.
When it came to the question of whether life is worthwhile, Jews and Christians were on an average most likely to answer yes, at 7.90 and 7.86 mean respectively. The non-religious were at the lowest end of the scale, with a 7.58 mean.
Similar results were also marked in the general happiness question, with Hindus and Christians scoring the highest average means, at 7.57 and 7.47 respectively. Once again the non-religious had the lowest number, at 7.22.
The detailed survey, which had a sample size of 304,740 people, explored the questions in a variety of other categories as well, including geographic locations within the U.K., age groups and health status.
The statistics showed that the 65 to 79 age group was the happiest of all, while those aged 45 to 59 reported the lowest levels of life satisfaction.
As for the religious group results, Dr. Paul McLaren, a consultant psychiatrist at the Priory Hospitals, said that faith can indeed be a protective factor for many people.
"With it usually comes strong social support which is a recognized protective factor against psychological trauma," McLaren said, according to The Telegraph.
Other studies in the past, such as a December 2014 release by the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture, have also found that there is a strong link between happiness and religion.
The results found that 45 percent of those who attend church weekly would describe themselves as "very happy," while only 28 percent of those who never attend said the same.
On the other end of the scale, 4 percent of those who never attend church said they were "very unhappy," compared to 2 percent of those that attend weekly.
"Greater levels of church attendance predict higher life satisfaction even when we account for how important religious faith is in people's lives," the study said at the time.
"This result offers tentative evidence that actual integration into a religious support network through attendance at religious services may in part be responsible for the increased happiness observed among religious people."