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What Makes People Happy?


An increasing number of people say that family and home life most define their happiness, a sign of shifting priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most respondents to a new Civic Science poll answered that family and home life most define their happiness.

Family was the most common response, with 38% of Americans surveyed saying it defines their happiness. Twenty-three percent of respondents said that home life most defines their happiness, followed by friendships (12%), health (11%), money (6%), romantic relationships (6%), and career (4%). (RELATED: Poll: 14% Of Americans Say They’re ‘Very Happy’ — Lowest In Almost 50 Years)

Younger Americans (between 18 and 25) are much more likely than older Americans to say that friendships and career most define their happiness. Over a quarter of respondents between 18 and 25 said that friendships most define their happiness, compared to 13% of respondents between 25 and 34, 12% of respondents between 35 and 54, and 11% of respondents aged 55 and older. Younger Americans were also significantly less likely than their older counterparts to say that health or home life defined their happiness.

Family relationships and health were more commonly listed as defining happiness in 2020 than in 2021, which could be due to the coronavirus pandemic, the survey found.

What are people looking forward to the most post-pandemic? ⬇️ https://t.co/q8yIFrKzKd

— CivicScience (@CivicScience) January 7, 2021

Family and home life were also the most common responses when people were asked what most defines success for them. Thirty-four percent of respondents said that family most defines their success, 19% said home life, and 15% said career. Romantic relationships was the least common response, with just 3% of Americans saying that relationships define their success.

Forty-five percent of younger Americans said that career defines success for them, while just 9% of older Americans said that their career defines success. Family also became increasingly important in defining success among older age groups, with 18% of respondents aged 18 to 25 said that family defined their success, compared to 29% of respondents aged 25 to 34, 37% of respondents aged 35 to 54, and 9% of respondents aged 55 or older.


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