Seven out of ten Belgians are not satisfied with their current income, reveals a new component of the national survey on happiness that was performed by Gent University (UGent) and the life insurer NN on 3,770 people. Those with higher incomes are more satisfied with their salaries, social relationships and with their environment, but this satisfaction tends to decrease when incomes are even higher.
The average Belgian rates 6 out of 10 his satisfaction with his financial situation, and 70% would like a higher income. According to the survey, Belgians’ happiness reaches a peak when the normalized net earnings per person (net household income divided by the number of its members) is between 4,000 and 5,000 euros per month.
But “the fact of earning more and more does not make us happier and happier. If Belgians with higher incomes are less satisfied with their income and their quality of life, we can conclude that the permanent desire to earn more has a negative impact on our happiness,” Professor Lieven Annemans comments. Experts believe that this is why it is “essential to strive to improve our economic system, founding it on aspects that provide real value.”
Moreover, those who put aside for their pension (57.6% of Belgians) and have a life insurance are more satisfied, regardless of their income. Their chances of being happier are 17% higher than those of the group who do not save for pension or do not have such an insurance.
The Brussels Times