Marriage makes make people 20 times happier than money, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Marriage is also 13 times more important to a person’s sense of wellbeing than owning a home. People with children, meanwhile, feel that their lives are more “worthwhile”, although they do not feel any happier than the childless.
The ONS analysed results from a survey of 165,000 people, the Telegraph reports. Participants were asked to rate their life in four areas: how satisfied they felt, how worthwhile they felt their life was, how happy they were and how anxious.
Marriage or a civil partnership was the third most important influence on a person’s sense of wellbeing, behind health and employment.
Married people also rated themselves happier than cohabiting, single or divorced people.
Report co-author Dawn Snape said:
“[Marriage] gives people a sense of stability, and a greater sense that their life is worthwhile. I think that the issue with children is that we probably all recognise the saying ‘you are only as happy as your unhappiest child’. Parents have a responsibility and that in itself can add to the perceived burden.”