Men are happier than women throughout life - until retirement

Lynsey Barber
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Chin up: Happiness for men and women differs in life (Source: Getty)

Women are less happy than men throughout their lives, new research reveals - that is, until they reach retirement age.

An annual survey by the NHS of the nation's wellbeing found that men reported higher levels of happiness than women, from their late teen years and up to retirement.

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It's not until 65 that men and women were found to be equally happy and women's happiness was only higher than men's after the age of 85. Both men and women are less happy in old age, however. Happiness peaks for both between 65 and 74.

One psychiatrist put this down to women still largely taking responsibility for home life and that many are widowed by their 80s.

Dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Kate Lovett told the Times: “Men who are single, widowed or divorced are more vulnerable to developing depression and men who are in this age bracket may be more likely to be on their own. Paradoxically married women are often more likely to develop depression.”

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The researchers found a slight decline in well-being last year, the latest figures available, compared to 2015 for both men and women.

And mental health issues has risen. The proportion of people reporting such issues grew from 15 per cent in 2012 to 19 per cent last year. Women were also more likely to report mental health problems - 21 per cent versus 16 per cent.

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