For Q1 2018 the National Australia Bank (NAB) Annual Wellbeing Report fell to its lowest levels (of wellbeing) since it began in 2013. Ouch.
The key highlights – or should we say low lights:
Happiness was down 3.7 points to 62.6 (out of a possible 100).
Life satisfaction was down 3.6 points to 62.5.
Sense of life worth was down 3.0 to 65.4.
So for the wellbeing of the average Ozzie it’s down, down, down.
Although there were gains in how many Australians scored “not anxious yesterday” … one in four Australians continued to report high levels of anxiety during the quarter.
Wellbeing was best for: the over 50s; homeowners; married people; those earning six figures; professionals and two-person households.
Wellbeing was worst for: young women; single people; those earning less than $35,000; and non-home owners.
Zoning in on anxiety, young women lose again – being the most anxious group (18-29 yrs). There is some good news for young anxious women: they are coping with their anxiety better than some over-all less anxious groups (e.g. people living in Tasmania).
What does this mean?
There is talk on the radio this week that perhaps GDP as an indicator of a country’s success is outdated, that perhaps the populations’ wellbeing is just as (or more) important.
The Sydney Morning Herald could not agree more:
“The contrast between the gloomy wellbeing survey and upbeat growth figures was also a neat reminder that GDP is an inadequate indicator of our collective welfare. As the American politician Robert Kennedy famously pointed out 50 years ago, GDP measures everything “except that which makes life worthwhile”.”
There is also an argument that economic growth is not being represented in wage growth, which is not going well for the average Australian. This hits close to home. On today, of all days, when here in New Zealand our primary school teachers are striking. John Campbell interviewed Auckland teachers earning around $50k and paying around $400-500 per week in rent?!?! You do the maths – see if you could eat well off that?
When it comes to our individual and joint wellbeing, I feel there is more going on than the gap between individual wages and wider economic growth. What are your thoughts?
Yours as ever
References, Links and all that Jaz
The Survey https://business.nab.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Australian-Wellbeing-Survey-Q1-2018.pdf