Belgians nearly as happy as before the pandemic, reveals survey

Belgians nearly as happy as before the pandemic, reveals survey
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Belgians' happiness levels rose in 2022, with an average rating of 6.6 out of 10. The new data shows that people in Belgium are getting closer to the pre-pandemic levels of happiness (6.7), according to a survey conducted by Ghent University and the insurer NN Belgium.

The yearly National Happiness Survey released its findings on Thursday, marking a rise in Belgians' happiness in spite of a tough year which was compounded by the energy crisis and inflation. The average Belgian marked their happiness at 6.6 out of 10, an increase on the previous year when the figure stood at 6.4/10.

These latest figures also show a continued improvement in Belgians' joy, which heavily suffered as a result of the pandemic. In December 2020, the average rating reached a mere 6.2 out of 10, having been at 6.7 out of 10 before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The survey also looked at which professional groups were the happiest in Belgium, with self-employed workers coming out on top. When asked to mark their happiness levels, Belgium's freelancers gave a rating of 6.7 out of 10, whereas other groups' ratings reached between 6.17 and 6.33.

However, while all other age groups saw their happiness levels rise throughout 2022, the joy of Belgians aged between 18 and 34 decreased. This came as a surprise to NN Belgium given that Belgium's younger population had experienced the largest rise in happiness levels during the last survey.

The Ghent University Professor Lieven Annemans attributed these decreasing levels of happiness to the pandemic's after-effects. She explained that the virus and resulting lockdowns had made it "virtually impossible for them to build up a social network, crucial at that stage of their lives."

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